In a recent one-on-one interview recorded during the HITEC 2024 event in Charlotte, Ted Horner sat down with Accor CTO Floor Bleeker, one of the two 2024 HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame inductees. This interview is a follow-up to Floor Bleeker's Hotel Yearbook article, and forms part of HN's HITEC 2024 series, where we have engaged with a diverse array of speakers, exhibitors, and visitors to provide in-depth insights into the industry's latest trends and innovations. Bleeker shared his perspectives on artificial intelligence (AI) in hospitality, the importance of investment in technology, and the potential for hyper-personalization and automation in the industry.

Introduction and Hall of Fame Induction

Ted Horner begins by congratulating Floor Bleeker on his induction into the HFTP International Hospitality Technology Hall of Fame, acknowledging his significant contributions to the industry. Bleeker expresses his gratitude and reflects on his career achievements.

Investment in Hospitality Technology

Bleeker highlights the increasing investment in hospitality technology, noting that while the sector has seen significant growth, it still lags behind other industries. He emphasizes the potential for AI to revolutionize hospitality by improving efficiency and reducing costs. Despite the high potential, current investments in AI within hospitality remain minimal, presenting a substantial opportunity for growth and innovation.

AI's Role in Hospitality

Discussing AI's impact, Bleeker underscores the potential for AI to transform the industry by automating repetitive tasks and enhancing productivity. He predicts that AI will drive significant efficiency gains, enabling hospitality businesses to do more with the same resources. This shift will allow staff to focus on more meaningful, high-value tasks, improving both customer service and operational effectiveness.

The Importance of Vendors and Technology Providers

Bleeker stresses the importance of relying on vendors and technology providers for advanced platforms, particularly for AI development. He believes that while large hotel companies may not have the resources to invest heavily in AI, they can leverage vendor solutions to gain competitive advantages. These solutions can be customized to meet specific needs, allowing hotels to implement AI in ways that enhance their unique offerings.

Hyper-Personalization and Data Utilization

Bleeker discusses the potential of AI to achieve hyper-personalization in hospitality. He compares the hospitality industry's current data utilization with other sectors, such as streaming services, which excel in personalizing recommendations. While hotels are proficient in personalizing online experiences, there is a significant opportunity to improve the transition from online to offline, ensuring that personalized experiences continue seamlessly upon guests' arrival.

Seamless Travel Experience

Bleeker highlights the benefits of integrating travel data to create a seamless guest experience. He advocates for collaboration between hotels, airlines, and local tourism authorities to ensure that guests receive timely and accurate information, such as flight delays, which can enhance the overall travel experience. Technologies like facial recognition could streamline this process, allowing for smoother transitions from airports to hotels.

Adoption of Robotics in Hospitality

Reflecting on the use of robotics in hospitality, Bleeker notes the impressive advancements seen in China and other regions. He describes how robots are being used to handle tasks such as food delivery, reducing security concerns and improving efficiency. Despite the clear benefits, Bleeker acknowledges that the adoption of robotics in Western countries has been slower, likely due to differences in infrastructure and investment priorities.

Future of AI and Robotics in Hospitality

Bleeker predicts that early adopters of AI and robotics will gain significant advantages in the coming years, similar to the adoption patterns of revenue management systems and cloud technologies. As these technologies become more widespread, they will become standard practice within the industry, driving further innovation and efficiency.


In conclusion, Floor Bleeker's insights emphasize the transformative potential of AI and robotics in the hospitality industry. By leveraging advanced technologies and focusing on hyper-personalization and seamless travel experiences, the industry can significantly enhance operational efficiency and guest satisfaction. This interview is part of Hospitality Net's HITEC 2024 series, providing a platform for industry leaders to share their insights and experiences.

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