Gamification in the hospitality industry

Vlad-Iosif Benga, master in global hospitality business graduate student.

In a world where the hospitality industry is more competitive than ever, businesses always look for new ways to stand out and create unforgettable customer experiences. With the rise in popularity of the gaming industry, more hospitality businesses have found that incorporating gamification in their operations appeals to a younger generation of customers.

Gamification, or the use of game features and ideas in non-game situations, has found a home in the hospitality sector where it adds elements of engagement, satisfaction and entertainment to the guest experience.

What is gamification?

Gamification is the use of games’ psychological appeal to encourage and engage people. Businesses may create more immersive and entertaining experiences for their consumers by introducing features such as competition, incentives, challenges and feedback into nongaming circumstances. Gamification in the hotel sector goes beyond typical loyalty programmes and awards by utilising game concepts to improve customer engagement and satisfaction.

Why does gamification in hospitality matter?

The hospitality industry is perfect for this concept. The most significant benefit for service-based businesses (like those in the hospitality industry) is that they build customer loyalty. By gamifying a core component of your business, you incentivise your customers to stick with your company to possibly ‘win’ the game.

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Let’s have a look at some of the benefits:

  • Enhanced guest engagement: by adding an element of play and enjoyment to the experience, gamification may increase guest engagement. Guests are more likely to recall and value their stay when they actively participate in enjoyable activities or challenges.
  • Better loyalty and repeat business: hospitality companies may encourage repeat business from their visitors by providing incentives and prizes for involvement. A wellthought- out gamification system may foster a sense of accomplishment and loyalty in users, increasing the likelihood that they will make future reservations with the same business.
  • Revenue growth: gamification has the potential to boost revenue, as well. For instance, visitors are more willing to spend money on services like eating, spa treatments or hotel reservations in order to accrue additional incentives when they receive points or awards for particular acts.

Examples in the industry

Some of the best examples of this are found in hotel and airline loyalty programmes. Both use gamification to encourage their clients’ competitive spirit and make their brand more memorable overall.

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An excellent example of gamification in the hospitality sector is the Hilton Honors app. Through the use of the app, visitors may purchase room service, use a mobile key and check-in, among other activities that earn points and incentives. These points may be redeemed by visitors for extra nights, hotel upgrades and other benefits. Additionally, before checking in, customers may use the app’s ‘Choose Your Room’ function to select their room from a digital floor plan. This feature gives visitors a sense of empowerment and lets them actively participate in personalising their stay.

Some hotels like The Great Escape Lakeside in Florida, US, are using gamification creatively, by transforming their space into exciting places for visitors to go on adventures. An interactive tablet is given to each guest upon check-in, signalling the start of a journey with a narrative that unfolds throughout the hotel.

There are cleverly placed puzzles, riddles and clues throughout the site. To advance, tourists must decipher concealed messages and overcome obstacles. As visitors progress, they may unlock the hotel’s hidden mysteries and improve their entire experience by earning rewards that range from complimentary snacks to unique luxuries.

Some hotels even go over and above by providing themed rooms that correspond with the activity, giving visitors a more authentic experience. Gamers can opt to participate alone or in groups while using collaborative gaming, which promotes a competitive and sociable environment. Hotels frequently change quests and stories to keep guests engaged and provide recurring visitors with fresh experiences. Scavenger hunts and themed parties are examples of unique activities and challenges to make the experience more immersive. At the end of the journey, guests are given a symbol or certificate that serves as a special memento and strengthens their sense of achievement for completing the hotel’s mission.

Gamification has reshaped hospitality by incorporating entertaining game aspects into guest encounters. It improves visitor engagement, loyalty and revenue. Examples like the Hilton Honors programme and inventive hotel quests transform regular stays into fascinating excursions. As the industry advances, companies that want to stay ahead must embrace gamification in order to build lasting connections and ensure happy guest returns.

How artificial intelligence changes consulting

Frederike Czerlinski, research scholar at the HFTP Research Center Middle East.

Traditionally anchored in human expertise and interaction, consulting has valued the intellect of its professionals for data analysis, decisionmaking and strategic guidance. Despite the field’s standard reliance on interpersonal skills, rapid advancements in AI, and the increasing presence of AI applications that are frequently discussed today, anticipate transformations. The question is no longer about if AI will reshape consulting, but rather about how profoundly and imminently this will occur.

The initial foray of AI into consulting has been marked by utilising data analysis techniques, predictive modelling and the automation of repetitive tasks. Each at their own pace, consulting firms are currently expanding their expertise and capabilities in AI consulting services. Tools powered by machine learning algorithms have begun to enhance decision-making processes, while natural language processing helps generate outputs from large amounts of unstructured data. Chatbots are frequently used in consulting workplaces, as they are in other industries.

Doing more with less: the consultant’s role

Beyond improving the quality of services provided, AI is influencing the internal operations of consultants. By taking over administrative duties and employing AI tools for the documentation and assessment of consulting units, consultants can now dedicate more time to strategic thinking and engaging with clients.

The human element remains irreplaceable, but AI transforms our workspaces more than previous technologies. While there are concerns that AI might replace jobs, eliminating the need for human interaction, a more optimistic perspective suggests that by diminishing tasks, AI simplifies consultants’ responsibilities. In this way, consultants can deepen client relationships and focus more on delivering their expertise, while potentially generating more revenue through increased efficiency.

Concerns and challenges

However, the integration of AI into consulting faces some hurdles, from bridging expertise gaps and managing data complexities, as well as overcoming tool limitations and building trust in AI systems. The crucial need to protect data privacy and security, as well as addressing the ethical concerns about AI’s decision-making capabilities, cannot be emphasised enough. These challenges must be thoughtfully addressed to fully realise the potential of AI in consulting.

Coming to conclusions

AI as it currently exists cannot replace creative problem-solving and ethical reasoning, as it operates within predefined data and parameters. This limitation underlines the importance of human experience, which far exceeds the capabilities of data sets alone, making human oversight of AI applications indispensable. Yet, the consulting industry stands to gain significantly from integrating AI. Its ability to process information rapidly, extract valuable insights and automate routine tasks promises a future where consultants can offer more value to their clients than ever before.

Adopting AI, however, requires an approach where its risks are considered. As AI and human expertise collaborate, they can create a significant impact on consulting services.