Tiago Araújo, CEO of HiJiffy, was invited to The High-level Forum for Sustainable Tourism 2021, organized by the Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition of Portugal, to debate on ways to elevate economic growth based on modern and reliable travel systems and to talk about the digital transformation of hotels as a necessary step to overcome sustainability hurdles.
This year the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union organized a unique opportunity to discuss with key players in the hospitality scene, the future of tourism. The High-Level Forum for Sustainable Tourism took place on May 14th, 2021, and Tiago Araújo, CEO of HiJiffy, participated in the debate around whether tourism is one step ahead in the digital transition or not.
The travel industry was a breaking record sector in terms of performance and revenue generation up until 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the hospitality industry to switch its focus and re-strategize to adapt to the government’s ever-changing requirements and to meet the needs of the new safety-conscious traveler. For that, Tiago foresees the future of the hospitality industry being contactless, automated and personalized to meet and exceed future guest’s needs and expectations.
How does technology support this change?
- Booking Assistant: this tourism chatbot tool provides guests with immediate responses to their requests to help the guest proceed with the reservation process anytime and anywhere. Critical queries that can determine the guests’ choice can be tackled instantly through AI-powered technology. Moreover, hoteliers can benefit from automated software that can alleviate repetitive tasks from their team to optimize their human resources, reduce costs and review new revenue strategies.
- Kiosks: spaces used in points of information or registration with proximity touch screen technology. These screens are built with infrared sensors that read gestures and enable users to fully interact with the display completely contactless. In addition, facial and iris recognition are systems that are complementary to this experience and that are already being used in airports, hotels, and other tourist attractions.
- COVID Passport: a platform using QR code technology, that gathers all your travel-related documents, including medical certificates, to facilitate the process of entering new countries.
- Virtual Concierges / Apps: a virtual assistant to minimize contact and improve services. This is a cost-effective solution for hoteliers where most tasks are automated and therefore teams can focus better on increasing guest satisfaction while being compliant with health and safety requirements. In addition, guests can easily communicate their requests and access the property’s information 24/7 and personalize their stay at any given moment. On the other hand, Airlines are already providing apps for travelers to have a contactless onboarding experience.
- Digital Keys: these are typically mobile apps that are paired with Bluetooth to security devices. These high-tech products are designed to skip check-in processes and provide travelers with instant secure access to their accommodation. This method would make redundant hotel keys or keycards.
What are HiJiffy’s solutions?
HiJiffy brings to the industry AI-powered services designed with hoteliers and guests in mind. Automated and contactless products and services are facilitating the advancement of the industry and enhancing traveler’s experiences. For that, HiJiffy has brought to the market a set of automation tools across a wide range of messaging platforms to help hotels increase their sales, elevate guest’s experience, and reduce costs.
- Booking Assistant: An AI-Powered Chatbot designed to deliver lightning-fast responses, reduce costs and increase sales by channeling prospective clients to complete their bookings. A one-stop solution for all your communication channels to your guests.
- Virtual Concierge: A 24 Hour Virtual Agent that assists your guest throughout their stay. It enables guests to access reservation information, make requests and perform pre-check-in functions that help avoid queues at reception, thus saving your guest’s precious time.
Next steps to support the digital transformation of the hospitality industry
In order to act fast and adapt to the technological changes happening in society the industry requires:
More knowledge and awareness on the possible solutions available in the market to support the industry
A collaboration between the public and private sectors to provide financial support to raise from this economic impact.
Tiago Araújo, CEO of HiJiffy said:
“ Having contactless travel needs to be the aim for the new normal. Adding to that with lack of staff, travel companies need to automate processes as much as they can without losing the personalized experience.”
“ I believe that many players within the travel industry don’t implement these measures due to lack of knowledge. We need to give them access to information. Education is power!”
About The High-Level Forum for Sustainable Tourism
A strategy integrated into the Ministry of Economy and Digital Transition from Portugal’s Tourism Department responsible for the promotion, enhancement, and sustainability of travel and tourism from supply to demand.