Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in Hospitality: Opportunities for Success & Pitfalls to Avoid

Robotic process automation (RPA) is an emerging business process automation technology embedded with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning capabilities to capture, interpret and automate existing high-volume and repetitive tasks which were done manually previously.  It enables organizations to effectively automate tasks, streamline processes, increase employee productivity, and ultimately deliver satisfying customer experiences.

Digital transformation is disrupting the hospitality industry in many ways. The way guests are consuming hospitality services has changed as the hotel industry transforms its services and infrastructure to meet the needs of the digitally savvy guest.  The hospitality industry is a high-volume transaction environment, consisting data management, bookings, processes and systems. RPA is becoming a prime technology that can disrupt and transform hospitality management and operations.  For example, hotel/restaurant/leisure bookings, front desk cashiering, financial reconciliation, loyalty processes and employee rosters may be disrupted through RPA. Chatbot services will integrate with bookings and purchasing, forming a new notification channel for guests. Loyalty and streamlined rewards redemption will be another key area where RPA will improve. Hotels will actively partner with other providers as they expand their role in the travel experience, leading to loyalty networks among hotels, airlines, restaurants and retailers. The potential of RPA for hoteliers to innovate and deliver improved services while improving the efficiency of existing services to sustain and grow their business is presented below.