While artificial intelligence and robots are going to be a big part of Hilton’s future, the company will always retain a “people serving people” ethos, said president and CEO Chris Nassetta.
Nassetta made the comments during a keynote address at Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) on Wednesday 26 April.
“Our team members differentiate Hilton by delivering an exceptional experience, something that is different from what people can get in another place, something that’s special, something that’s memorable, something that makes them want to come back,” said Nassetta.
“The way I think of innovation is, how do we take the core of what we do and make it even better?”
The topic of technological breakthroughs, such as artificial intelligence, was identified at AHIC as one of the top five megatrends by PwC Middle East’s partner and deals real estate leader Dr. Martin Berlin, who unveiled the new PwC Report Global Megatrends and their impact on Hospitality in the Middle East at AHIC.
The trends presented by PwC were:
- Demographic and Social Change, with a polarising demand shift from the Silver Tourist to the Millennials and Generation Z;
- Shift in Global Economic Powers, as emerging economies are expected to surpass advanced economies in terms of international tourism arrivals by 2020;
- Accelerating Urbanisation, with 40 global megacities forecast by 2025;
- Climate Change and Resource Scarcity, predicted to impact the attractiveness of the Middle East as a destination;
- Technological Breakthroughs, with connectivity as a key component of this.
These game-changing trends, or ‘Catalysts of Change’ – the strapline for AHIC 2017 – shaped much of the conversation in the opening CEOs’ panel session.
The discussion featured Stefan Leser, group chief executive officer, Jumeirah Group; Olivier Harnisch, CEO, Emaar Hospitality Group; Steven Daines, CEO new businesses and CEO HotelServices Africa and Middle East, AccorHotels; Alex Kyriakidis, president and MD, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International; and Robert Welanetz, CEO, Majid Al Futtaim properties & acting CEO Majid Al Futtaim Hotels, moderated by Dr Berlin.
Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 2017 (AHIC) is being held at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai from 25-27 April, 2017 and is organised by Bench Events and MEED.