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AHC Recap: Enhanced Hospitality - Driving Performance Through Tech

On September 12 hospitality and tech industry leaders came together at the Annual Hotel Conference (AHC) in Manchester for a panel discussion to consider how hoteliers can drive performance through technology. 

The speakers looked at how technology is advancing, including how AI and robotics are helping to drive business efficiency and create memorable personalized experiences. They also discussed tech solutions that support hotel processes cost-effectively and help adapt to new customer needs.

The panelists were: 

  • Moderator: Chris Crowley, Chief Revenue Office, Duetto
  • Heather Byron, Senior Vice-President of Services, Alliants 
  • Neetu Mistry, Chief Commercial Offices, Cycas Hospitality
  • Gregory Naidoo, Chief Evangelist and Development Officer, MEWS
  • Wilhelm K. Weber, Chief Commercial officer, Grand Metropolitan Hotels


The panel highlighted the importance of technology and clean data, and how vital it is to understand it, for more dynamic, flexible and efficient processes.

Heather Byron kicked off proceedings by talking about the existing tech stack in hotels today, and what to look out for and why. “With tech enabling, you need to understand its value and how to use it, and how that's going to get the best from your ops teams,” she said. 

Moving onto the subject of innovations in hotel technology and their likely impact, Gregory Naidoo said: “We’ve got all this data but it’s not being used by the teams to its best. The receptionist is doing the same every day. The system should be able to tell you the day after what to do, innovate and provide efficiency, not needing a receptionist to come to work every day, look at the screen and have to do the same thing over and over. It’s the same for other teams such as Housekeeping, etc.”

Wilhelm K. Weber then went on to talk about measuring success and assessing impacts, commenting: “It's so important to drive RevPAR nowadays that the choice of an RMS cannot be based on price. Asset management companies need to focus on what systems will allow them to make the most of the business. Not only rooms, which is the core, but how we are making the most of it. Is the system really delivering revenue from every step in the guest journey?”

Offering advice for hoteliers, Naidoo added: “Experiment. You can yield on breakfast rates for example. Now you see revenue management for parking spaces, we see a crazy evolution. Just put it in the booking engine and monetise it.”

“Assess the tech stack at an early stage and do as if it had the same importance as the bathrooms and sinks. Closer interaction between commercial and investor has got way better in the last year,” added Weber. 

Concluding proceedings, Neetu Mistry talked about how tech is a big focus for Cycas moving forward. “We’re looking at how we can improve the use of AI commercially and operationally with the most seamless approach for the team and the customer,” she said.

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Claire Middleton, Contributing Editor

Claire is a Contributing Editor with Duetto. An experienced editor and copywriter, with more than a decade of experience working for various publishing houses, private companies and agencies, she is now a full-time freelance writer, providing regular editorials on the hotel industry for Duetto.

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