This article discusses the hotel front desk, which it states hasn’t changed in decades other than changing a bell for a Dell, and which is still a high desk where guests make a deposit and pick up a room key.

It says that guests are looking for flexible communications, check-in by text or keyless entry, but across the digital world there is a general backlash against Big Tech, which has implications for travel.

The article outlines the results of research with consumers, and draws up a top ten responsibilities of the evolving front desk and the place of technology in each:

  • looking guests in the eye;
  • upselling rooms and services;
  • keeping queues moving;
  • empowering all staff members to serve guests;
  • making check-in and check-out flexible;
  • automating tasks;
  • being smart about loyalty;
  • creating workflows to collect good reviews;
  • competing with Airbnb on experiences;
  • not forgetting food and beverage, and meetings.

The conclusion is that technology is changing the travel environment, but will not take the place of a host’s empathy, smile, and relevant offer of help.

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