Alexa for hospitality: A new experience from Amazon

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“Marriott has a long track record of innovating for our guests, and we’re thrilled to be among the first to offer Alexa for Hospitality,” said Jennifer Hsieh, VP for Customer Experience Innovation at Marriott International, Alexa For Hospitality's launch partner.

Several months after Marriott began testing Amazon Echo and its voice activated assistant Alexa in its hotels, the full roll out of Alexa For Hospitality is here — and with it, the promise of making artificial intelligence-powered digital assistants a feature in every guest room.

Alexa for Hospitality is described as a new experience offered by invitation to hoteliers from Amazon. Using the Amazon Echo in their hotel rooms, guests can now ask Alexa for hotel information, contact the hotel to request guest services, play music in their room and more.

For hotels, Alexa for Hospitality “helps deepen guest engagement through seamless voice-first experiences that offer new ways for guests to access services and amenities during their stay,” Amazon says.

Alexa for Hospitality is available to hospitality providers by invitation starting today, with Marriott International introducing the new Alexa experience at select properties in Marriott Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Aloft Hotels, and Autograph Collection Hotels starting this summer.

“Customers tell us they love how easy it is to get information, enjoy entertainment, and control connected devices by simply asking Alexa, and we want to offer those experiences everywhere customers want them,” said Daniel Rausch, VP, for Smart Home Services at Amazon. “Alexa for Hospitality makes your hotel stay a little more like being at home and gives hospitality providers new ways to create memorable stays for their guests.”

An extended booking experience

The hospitality industry, from hotels to restaurants to reservation services, have been steadily exploring the implications of voice-activation to keep pace with what travelers want and expect. It’s also seen as a way of surprising visitors with greater amenities without having to install complicated technology or partner with platforms that have dubious scalability. (Amazon notes that “Alexa for Hospitality is built to work with existing hotel technologies, reducing or eliminating the need to retrofit or upgrade existing investments, and works with a range of trusted hospitality solution providers.”)

Marriott has been particularly aggressive in experimenting with technologies that meet guests’ needs for personalization, experimenting with everything from beacons to tablets in rooms to better connect and build loyalty with travelers who stay with them.

The rapid rise of Connected Intelligence and the digital voice assistants that provide direct answers to users’ search queries and requests also calls into the question how people will use the apps.

Instead of pressing buttons on a virtual box on a smartphone, apps will be ever-present in the background of users’ lives, ready act when a service is called upon or even anticipating what a consumer wants before they even ask for it.

“Our CX (customer experience) Innovation team is exploring the breadth and potential of AI – from reasoning, knowledge, planning, learning, and natural language processing,” the Marriott rep said at the time.

Read more: How to secure last-minute bookings during peak season?