High-tech, high-touch has always been at the core of good hospitality, it's just that 4-5 Star hotels tend to choose to hide the overt tech from guest view. A high-end, global hospitality membership company bans the use of guest mobiles and guest PCs/tablets after 6pm, and hides its POS inside drawers, but it's still a state-of-the-art system. Site receptionists are always heads-up and greet guests by name and appear to have no tech but are using a top-end CRM system that pops up guest pictures once the member taps their mobile as NFC identification on arrival.

In the recent hype over Gen AI, the real-world importance of RPA – Robotic Process Automation - which uses Predictive AI has been overlooked. RPA has been quietly doing its thing in the background for over a decade in hospitality, eg a 30-strong UK hotel chain migrated from an older PMS which didn't support APIs or data extraction, to a newer one via an RPA tool that was taught to enter guest profiles and bookings, one at a time. It took just a few hours per hotel after night close for a couple of trained staff to migrate 500k+ records per site and to do final testing, and the shiny new PMS was ready for the FoH staff in the morning. Without RPA, a team of 10+ staff would have been needed.

A new metric alongside ADR, RevPar etc may be needed – ratio of all FTE staff to guests. NB all staff ie IT, marketing, sales, legal, and finance, not just operational. A high-tech, "millennial" brand I worked which achieved circa $150 ADR and 1:30. A 4–5-star brand with $500-700 ADR had 1:2.5. NB the antiquated star rating process would penalise a 4-star hotel when audited if it didn't have two people, humans not kiosks, at the front desk at all times.