News Briefs


Survey Finds 73% of Hospitality IT Decision Makers Say AI/ML Leads their IT/Business Strategy


Artificial Intelligence has been around for decades but it is suddenly the most discussed, most important, common denominator technology on the planet due to newfound scale, speed and mass accessibility.   

A majority 73% of travel/hospitality IT decision makers said artificial intelligence/machine learning leads their IT/business strategy (vs. cybersecurity at 64% and cloud at 58%), a February 2023 Rackspace Technology survey revealed.  Two years ago, cloud, IoT, robotics and blockchain were said to be more important.   

AI Use is Accelerating Among Hospitality/Travel Professionals 

Thirty-seven percent of hospitality/travel IT decision makers said they began using AI/ML a year ago vs. 13% two years ago, 13% three years ago, 9% four years ago and 10% five years ago.  Most (63%) of them are using AI/ML for data analysis followed by 55% using it for product lifestyle management and 51% as a driver of innovation.  Intelligent search, document processing and customer engagement are growing fastest among their AI/ML initiatives.   A majority (67%) said they plan to use it to improve speed and efficiency, predict business performance (59%) and reduce risk (46%) in the future.   

The Question of Trust in AI 

The amount of data is said to double every two years emphasizing the need for AI but how much do hospitality/travel IT professionals trust what it finds?   

  • Over a third (37%) said they slightly trust AI/ML results with 30% strongly trusting the results.   
  • About as many (37%) slightly vs. 31% strongly think there are enough checks and balances in place to avoid the negative consequences of AI/ML.   
  • 34% strongly vs. 32% slightly think there is sufficient governance in place to safeguard against any misuse of AI/ML.   

Over half (54%) of travel/hospitality IT decision-makers said they encountered pushback or scrutiny about the penetration of AI/ML in their organization.  

AI Benefits Are Already Huge with Room to Grow 

So far, 36% of hospitality/travel professionals said they have realized substantial benefits from AI/ML already with another 38% saying they’ve seen modest benefits and 26% said it’s too early to tell.  Travel/hospitality IT professionals listed those benefits as follows: 

  • 74% increased understanding of business and customers 
  • 73% increased revenue streams, personalized marketing 
  • 72% risk reduction 
  • 71% ability to hire/recruit new talent, reduced cost of new product development 
  • 70% increased innovation, operation cost reduction 
  • 69% improved customer satisfaction, increased sales 
  • 67% increased productivity 
  • 65% faster time to profitability 

Finding AI Talent is a Challenge 

A shortage of skilled talent was cited by 75% of skilled talent as the greatest challenge in their AI/ML adoption so far, followed by 64% citing algorithm/model failure and 51% who lack the technology infrastructure to support AI/ML.   86% of travel/hospitality professionals said they’ve grown their AI/ML workforce in the past 12 months with 57% saying the implementation of AI/ML has resulted in a reduction of their workforce.  

“As AI and machine learning mature and projects mature, we are seeing it expand out across the organization and become more ubiquitous, advancing in its importance, visibility, and usage,” said Jeff DeVerter, Chief Technology Evangelist, Rackspace Technology. “The fact that more respondents began their AI/ML journey within the past year is striking, and points to the fact that these technologies are seen as they key to driving efficiencies in uncertain economic times. At the same time, the research makes clear that many organizations are still struggling to understand or realize the technologies’ full benefits of AI/ML, and many face internal resistance to adoption.” 

“Organizations that are struggling with AI/ML also tend to be organizations that have immature data cultures, low levels of data literacy and poor data governance structures, because any AI/ML project is only as good as the data being used,” added Ben Blanquera, VP, Evangelist, and Senior Architect, Rackspace Technology. “For more projects to be successful and for organizations to derive long-term value, there needs to be a focus on data quality. For some companies, this may mean rethinking their entire data governance approach.” 

“Moving into an uncertain economic climate, IT and Business leaders are using AI/ML to improve business operations with low innovation,” said Nirmal Ranganathan, Chief Architect, Data & AI, Rackspace Technology. “We see customers use AI/ML to build intelligent search capabilities to improve employee efficiencies, reduce manual processes through the adoption of intelligent document processing and improve customer experience through customer engagement solutions. Innovation through AI/ML is rocket fueling the consumer space with mainstream adoption of Generative AI technologies. 

Survey Methodology 

The survey was completed by Coleman Parkes Research in February 2023. Findings are based on the responses of 1,420 IT decision-makers across manufacturing/logistics, retail, hospitality/travel, energy, healthcare/pharma/biomedical, government, media/entertainment and financial service sectors in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Most of the companies/organizations polled have from 1,000 to 9,999 employees and an annual revenue between $50m and $1b. 


Chichester Park Hotel Checks in to the Cloud with Infor

Chichester Park Hotel

Infor announced that Chichester Park Hotel has deployed Infor Hospitality Management Solution (HMS) and Infor Sales & Catering (SCS), a fully integrated, event-management software solution. The new cloud systems have streamlined and amalgamated key processes, laying the foundations for continued business growth.

The 86-room hotel in the heart of historic Chichester, England, was looking for a new solution to replace its incumbent system that was unable to keep pace with the demands of the growing business. Following a thorough assessment of the market and a six-way competitive pitch, Chichester Park Hotel chose the two solutions from Infor.

In particular, Chichester Park liked the ease-of-use of the solutions and their ability to not only integrate seamlessly with each other, but with other solutions and technologies, too. Infor HMS and SCS are already delivering benefits for the business, securing valuable efficiency savings and providing more insightful and accessible data than with the previous solutions. Infor SCS is helping to facilitate a frictionless guest experience, automating the entire booking process with an intuitive workflow at every stage of the customer journey. System integration furnishes the team with comprehensive business visibility at any moment in time.

“Put simply, the systems work for us,” comments Kam Sanmukhani, Chichester Park operations manager. “The seamless integration of our core business processes has led to a more streamlined and efficient experience for both staff and guests. For example, when it comes to advanced deposit postings, we can now automatically charge cards in a couple of clicks, a process that used to take 90 minutes to do manually. The reporting functionality is excellent, too, enabling us to filter the data in a multitude of ways to reveal valuable business insights.”

“Infor SCS gives us the ability to automate the entire booking process, from initial enquiry through to the final invoice. In combination with the functionality of Infor HMS, Infor SCS puts the scalable foundations in place to ensure sustainable and profitable business growth, helping us to deliver exceptional customer service whilst maximising revenues,” Sanmukhani added.


“Infor HMS and SCS are built to meet the exacting demands of the hotel industry,” comments Paul Griffiths, Infor hospitality business development management for UK and Ireland. “As the team at Chichester Park has recognised, our flexible and scalable solutions deliver quantifiable business benefits, automating core processes to deliver that all-important quality experience for guests and staff alike. The efficiencies and valuable insights that our solutions deliver continue to make them the ideal choice for hotel businesses keen to pursue ambitious growth strategies, boosting customer satisfaction as well as profitability.”


Alliants Appoints SVP of Data & Strategy

 Kashif Yamin, SVP of Data & Strategy, Alliants

Alliants, the customer experience specialists, has appointed Kashif Yamin as SVP of Data & Strategy.

As a commercially astute leader with a deep knowledge of data driven decision making, Kashif is devoted to helping hospitality and travel companies optimise their customer experience and make winning decisions.

He commented: “There has been a massive increase in the amount of data that companies are collecting, but there is still a big gap in terms of their ability to translate that into real insights and actions.”

“Alliants is at the vanguard of closing that gap by improving customer experience and creating better outcomes in terms of customer satisfaction, retention, upselling, and ultimately customer lifetime value through its Alliants Experience Platform and data-rich service capabilities.”

Kashif is returning to Alliants, having previously worked with the customer experience experts as Client Director from 2011 to 2017.

Tristan Gadsby, CEO and co-founder of Alliants, said: “We are thrilled to have Kashif back on board and, in some respects, he’s never been away. In the intervening years, we worked together on the machine learning platform Incisively, which has delivered great results for several hotel clients including Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.”

Kashif was the CEO and founder of Incisively Limited and the eCommerce optimisation lead with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, resulting in significant conversion and customer experience gains for the luxury brand.

His career spans marketing, product, operations and commercial functions across a host of travel and hospitality businesses, most recently as Commercial Director of Travel Republic, an Online Travel Agency.

Kashif said: “It’s fantastic to be back at Alliants. It is a business that has developed enormously since I left. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with professionals from hospitality and other sectors and helping them find those next levels of innovation to stand out from the crowd.”


Radisson Hotel Group Expands Its Real-Time Instant Online Booking Platform for Meetings and Events in EMEA Portfolio

Radisson Hotel Group

In response to the rapidly changing meetings and events landscape for which meeting organizers need to book meetings and events ever more swiftly, Radisson Hotel Group’s Book It Easy platform allows planners to organize events seamlessly by simplifying the venue sourcing and booking process online. Planners can simply enter their event details, check real-time availability of meeting spaces, view the room options with ground-breaking 360 technology, book their preferred venue, and receive instant booking confirmation. 

Book It Easy key functionalities include: 
•    24/7 real-time availability of meeting spaces
•    360-degree views of rooms 
•    Best available rate guaranteed and transparent pricing
•    Custom-made packages, including AV equipment or additional amenities
•    Easy and secure online payment

We are incredibly proud to have launched our Book It Easy tool successfully across key hotels in our EMEA portfolio over the last 12 months. Radisson Hotel Group has a strong reputation for delivering world-class meetings and events facilities, and we are now making the booking process even easier. We conducted extensive research with our valued meetings and events partners to create this new platform and to ensure it includes all the technology and information required for a seamless, real value, and real time experience,” says Chema Basterrechea, Global President and Chief Operations Officer at Radisson Hotel Group.

Radisson Hotel Group has developed the Book It Easy platform in partnership with EY. The tool is fully compatible with the Group’s unified technology platform to allow for real-time availability and transparent pricing based on event requirements throughout the booking process. Built with a microservices architecture, the tool provides a swift and seamless user experience and scalability, backed by rigorous privacy and security testing.

The Book It Easy platform is the latest offering from Radisson Meetings which promises the same personal, professional and memorable experience. Radisson Meetings provide tailored solutions for any event or meeting, including hybrid solutions placing guests and their needs at the heart of its offer. Radisson Hotel Group’s world-leading 100% Carbon Neutral Meetings offering automatically offsets the carbon footprint of every single meeting and event taking place at any the Group’s hotels worldwide, at no cost to organizers. In partnership with First Climate, one of the world’s largest carbon offset organizations, and through projects that help reduce emissions and have a positive social impact, Radisson Meetings strives for environmental best practice.


ChatGPT-Powered AI Restaurant Operations Manager Unveiled by ClearCOGS at MURTEC

COGSwell chatgpt

ClearCOGS will introduce AI Operations Manager, a new chat-based tool for restaurants to gain control of their operations, at MURTEC 2023. The AI Ops Manager is powered by ChatGPT and it sits on top of both historical and forecasted data to allow restaurants a full past and future look at their business. This product offers a new way for restaurant operators or managers to find solutions to their day-to-day challenges and ask the questions that need immediate answers.

"We've had the AI Ops Manager vision for a while," says Matt Wampler, CEO at ClearCOGS. "We're able to execute that vision much faster by employing ChatGPT tech."

Since the start of the company, ClearCOGS has been using AI to do restaurant demand forecasting. By accessing the data that already exists, they can generate detailed and accurate predictions on what to expect from each upcoming shift. This is crucial information for restaurants that, on average, have razor-thin margins. What this new ChatGPT feature will do is allow restaurateurs access to vital information at pivotal decision points. "What's really exciting is not just that it's a translation layer," says Matt, "but it's able to add value to the data."

ClearCOGS states that the system will be able to answer questions as general as, "How was business last week?" and as specific as, "How many plain bagels should I bake today?"

The ClearCOGS AI Operations Manager will be unveiled on March 6. For more information on the AI Ops Manager, visit


Integrated Systems at Reserva Alecrim Eco Suites Resort Drive 60% Increase in Guest Spend

Reserva Alecrim Eco Suites Resort

Reserva Alecrim Eco Suites Resort has maximized revenue per guest and more quickly realized its growth strategy due to the implementation of an intuitive, integrated hotel management solution from SIHOT.

The eco resort accommodation provider not only increased guest ratings on and Google, but also achieved a 60% increase in guest spend by offering more services and experiences, with it’s F&B business unit benefitting from a more than 70% uplift. The digitalization of its operations, financial, administrative and booking processes allowed it to significantly reduce pressure on staff by nearly eliminating the need for 44 hours overtime per month as a result of automating time-consuming tasks.

Reserva Alecrim has also seen massive improvements to team communication across the 24-hectare site, and now provides an enhanced guest experience for billing and check-out - securing 70% increase in upsells throughout the property. 

SIHOT was installed in January 2022, with the resort now using SIHOT.PMS, SIHOT.POS, Channel Manager and SIHOT.TRUST. Previously, the resort’s staff were challenged by manual systems where the PMS could not integrate with other systems. The technology lacked the ability to add experiences and services to a room bill, causing delays in compiling single guest payments. With SIHOT’s cloud-based solution, the team can access reports from anywhere and process invoices within a few minutes, resulting in a 75% time reduction.

“It’s about making processes simple and with SIHOT, that’s possible. Even training new staff is quick: they’re up and running within a week. We have taken steps to further improve our offering and guest experience while improving our communication and pulling all the teams together. With more information we can achieve what we want. We simply couldn’t have grown with our former PMS,” continued Alves.

Reserva Alecrim is able to better manage its daily operations. The improved visibility of reporting has helped revenue generation, with department heads able to incentivize their teams to upsell when needed. 

SIHOT’s solutions enable the resort to integrate with a range of technologies, including channel managers capable of selling to 35 OTAs today compared to none previously. Its integration with the resort’s billing system has helped it grow business, including partnerships with international travel agencies that required integrations for live availability. 

“Lurio and his team have demonstrated the value of turning around processes by using technology to their advantage to reduce pressures while improving the experience - not just for the guest, but also quite clearly for themselves. It’s fantastic to see a hospitality company make such significant gains in a short period of time where they have every confidence to continue their growth,” said Carsten Wernet, Chief Executive, SIHOT.

“A site of 24 hectares has become very close. With SIHOT, we feel that we are not that far from each other anymore. SIHOT has helped us grow, and is enabling us to plan an exciting future,” said Lurio Alves, Hotel Manager, Reserva Alecrim Eco Suites Resort.