“We definitely see the benefit for our guest experience, as well as for hotel operator to smoothen processes and generate more efficiency in the back of the house, and more ROI for our owners.”
Robbert Manussen, IHG Area General Manager, Taiwan
InterContinental Kaohsiung, located in the second-largest city in Taiwan, Kaohsiung, is the first InterContinental hotel in Taiwan. Whether the guests are traveling for business or leisure, the hotel takes pride in creating extraordinary guest experiences and embedding personal touches into every detail of the guest journey.
InterContinental Kaohsiung features first-class facilities and the most attentive service. Guests can also relax at the in-house health club with an indoor swimming pool and gym before dining at one of the three gourmet restaurants, WA-RA (Japanese), Zhan Lu (Chinese), and SEEDS (All-Day Dining).
Elegant rooms and suites at the InterContinental Kaohsiung are equipped with top-of-the-line technology and amenities. Since its opening in 2021, InterContinental Kaohsiung has been collaborating with Aiello, powering all 253 rooms with Aiello Voice Assistant (AVA) and setting the direction for the new age of personalized smart luxury experience.
As leaders in the industry, luxury hotel brands need to embrace innovation in all layers of hospitality. This can be achieved by including cutting-edge technology such as AI, to enhance offerings and stay ahead of the competition. By incorporating voice AI technology, AVA, into their operations, InterContinental Kaohsiung elevates the guests’ experiences and sets a new global standard for luxury travel.
At luxury hotels like the InterContinental Kaohsiung, it was previously necessary to assign approximately three staff members per guest to handle tasks such as room service and answering frequently asked questions. However, by utilizing AVA, the hotel was able to significantly reduce the resources and ease the workload of their staff. This was made possible by AVA’s ability to handle repetitive tasks, streamline processes, and organize tasks in a backend platform connected to the device, resulting in an increase in efficiency that saved the hotel 372 hours of staff time on answering FAQs and managing room service requests, which converts to $111,630.
The international guests can speak to AVA in 4 languages, English, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai. Our data say that guests speak with AVA 20.8 times per room and per night, showing that the guests use AVA to customize and interact with the guest-room environment. 64% of all queries are about room IoT controls and setting up music. Control actions of curtains, lights, or setting smart room modes are especially popular among guests who stay in luxury hotels with IoT controls.
Guests can select one of the smart room modes and customize their experience to match their current mood. For example, when the guests say ‘goodnight’, AVA turns the lights off and plays relaxing music. Engaging smart technology embedded in hotel rooms encourages guests to share their stay with peers on social media. They pin a location at the hotel and share posts with AVA as a stylish in-room amenity on their favorite channels.
They also frequently ask about the city attractions, nearby restaurants, and night markets. With these queries, the hotel was able to uncover hidden opportunities, find the most suitable partners to collaborate with and overall contribute to tourism and the economic growth in the area.
Mr. Manussen said, “People are using the device a lot more than we thought originally and they’re using it in a wider scope, which helps us to develop the next line of products and services”.
Although InterContinental Kaohsiung is already equipped with a truly extensive range of top-class amenities, the management was able to spot additional items that weren’t on the list, like toiletries and hygiene products for women, including makeup removers, or sanitary pads.
‘Do you offer sanitary pads?’
‘I need a make-up remover’
This suggests that there is an opportunity to put focus on tailoring the services to the many female guests, who, on average, are more likely to share their experiences on social media.
The guests also often ask about the famous spots in the area:
‘Where is the nearest night market?’
‘Where is *Dan Dan Burger?’ (*famous fast-food joint in southern Taiwan)
This is a great opportunity to build new partnerships and the hotel’s additional revenue stream. In InterContinental Kaohsiung, our data show that AVA’s on-screen advertisement carousel ran 65,000 cycles in a year of use. This shows great potential to display in-house promotions or exclusive deals with local businesses, like happy hour, or seasonal specials in one of the 4 gourmet restaurants, and increase the marketing exposure of the hotel’s latest offerings.
By implementing AVA, InterContinental Kaohsiung was able to significantly reduce unnecessary labor costs, generate service efficiency and increase their upselling opportunities, leading to higher in-house consumption while creating unforgettable experiences for their guests.
In addition, the hotel is now able to work with new pieces of information about customer preferences and further elevate its offerings. This shows the power of digital transformation and how it can benefit hotels in different layers of hospitality.
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