Amazon recently made headlines by announcing the launch of a new initiative: Alexa for Hospitality.
Alexa is the voice-activated digital assistant that has become increasingly popular, and Alexa for Hospitality is exactly what it sounds like: a business unit that is devoted to the placement and usage of Amazon’s Echo smart speaker devices, but in hospitality settings, ranging from upscale hotels to vacation rental properties, to a wide range of options that fall in between.
Experts say this is one of the first clear indications that Amazon is entering into the hotel business, as well as the greater travel agency, with this and other unique strategies that are positioning it to become better invested in hospitality. These efforts are, obviously, starting with the installation of smart devices, which would then open up the company to adding other capabilities such as voice search of even if its own online travel agency platform, a concept that would hardly be a stretch for the most dominant company on the web.
One of the major changes that’s coming for the hotel industry in terms of tech is the use of voice search to find and make available reservations at hotels. As companies start to design and launch this tech, they are doing so with technology like Amazon Cloud in mind.
This sort of testing is not all that new, dating back to at least recent years, wherein many hotels and hotel owners have begun to run pilot programs aimed at testing it out.
Meanwhile, experts almost uniformly agree that voice search is fast becoming another important distribution channel for hotels in search of increased bookings, which is almost all hotels. Some speculate that the most effective way for this to start to happen will be through loyalty programs that synch up with products such as Amazon Echo or Google Home.
In many other markets, this sort of capability is also starting to take old.
One can pretty easily order a pizza or food from certain companies using the devices, and in many municipalities around the world, the devices are quickly becoming sources for local information and interacting with local government.
Many suggest that it is only a scant amount of time before this becomes the case within the hospitality industry as well, before guests are able to use the devices to book rooms, or even to order food within their rooms once they have arrived to the property.
In terms of major tech companies such as Amazon and Google becoming more active in the hospitality space in other ways, however, no one within the hotel business seems to be panicking just yet, instead taking more of a wait and see approach.
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