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4. Section4
Go through marking scheme and add in what is required/ Then fix appendix sections.

4.1 Online Reviews, Blogs and Social Media

Word-of-Mouth (WOM) was ranked as the most effective information source that consumers rely on as they make everyday decisions (Moran and Muzellec, 2014). Traditional WOM has shifted and has become available in online media called electronic WOM (Mishra and Satish, 2016). “Electronic World-of-Mouth (eWOM)” can be defined as an “informal, person-to-person communication between a perceived non-commercial communicator and a receiver regarding a brand, a product, and service (Huete-Alcocer, 2017). During this research a survey was conducted with 59 respondents, findings from the survey supports the above literature 27.12% of respondents received information about hotels from traditional WOM sources whilst 50.84% received information about hotels from Online Reviews and Social Media (See Appendix 1).
Social media has brought the birth of “influencers” (Ward, 2017). Result showed that 56% of the people asked, rely on recommendations from friends while 49% rely on product recommendations from influencers (Swant, 2016). Studies show the use of Influencer marketing via social media is most exposed to millennials due to their frequent use of social media and the Internet (Jade, 2018). This generation is of interest due to their frequent and early exposure to technology and social networks, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Blogs (Lu, Bock & Joseph, 2013). Millennials spend five hours per day on social media, which makes them an excellent target for influencer marketing online (Capcito, 2016).
(Kemp 2017) supports this motive as 27% of millennials posted potential trip on social media to receive feedback before booking and 36% of generation z have chosen a destination specifically because of posting on social media.
Furthermore ,Liu, Jiang, Lin, Ding,Duan & Xu, 2015 state EWOM impacts the consumers decision making process and the purchasing decision. Survey findings show 86% of respondents used social media and 83% of stated that social media and online reviews influenced their decision making process when booking a hotel (See Appendix 1).
Whereas Chen & Lurie, 2013 believed that the negative online reviews are more influential on consumer’s attitude than the positive one. This finding was investigated further by a European Commission survey in 2014 which reveals that the younger the audience, the less likely it is to be deterred by bad reviews. Only 10% of consumers aged 18-24 said they would be dissuaded by a bad review, while the figure increases to 33% for consumers aged 55-64.

4.2 Online Travel Agencies

Consumers have moved away from traditional booking methods: travel agents, in house and via phone and moved towards booking online via Online Travel Agencies. (Lien et al., 2015).Previous research has shown that brand image, price, trust, and value are driving forces of online purchase intentions (Kemp, 2017). Booking online through OTAs or Meta-search websites enables price comparison (Expedia, 2018).
Carroll ; Sileo, 2014 find travellers believe it is helpful to book accommodations in one place and say they would consider booking the entire trough one OTA website .
These findings are consistent with Expedia 2018 findings which state 80% of Americans prefer to book everything on the one site. Due to ease of booking, and convenience – the fact everything is done and sorted at once less stress (Expedia, 2018).
Furthermore, the survey conducted finds that online travel agents are the most popular way to book upon respondents with 59% stating they book via online travel agencies (See Appendix 1).
According to Collins (2018) Online Travel Agents such as Booking.com and Expedia influencing the consumer decision making process as they compare a range of amenities and offer services such as no deposit , pay on arrival and no cancellation fee thus increasing the customers motivation to purchase (See Appendix 6).

4.3 Mobile Devices

In recent years we have seen a significant move from desktop to mobile (GMSA, 2018). Survey finding support this 74% of respondents use mobile devices to book whilst only 20% desktop 3% tablet and 1% none (See Appendix 1).This growth in internet users has been driven by more affordable smartphones and mobile data plans. More than 200 million people got their first mobile device in 2017 (Kemp, 2017).Mobile data connections are getting faster all over the world, with GSMA Intelligence reporting that more than 60 percent of mobile connections can now be classified as ‘broadband'(GMSA, 2018).The use of mobile devices for business and leisure purposes have changed hotel guest preferences Wi-Fi is a necessity for 1/3 Gen X and 49% of business travellers of influences consumers purchasing decision (Expedia, 2018). Consumers are now defining brand by the quality of their experiences across all touchpoints, smartphone, desktops, and applications, via phone and in house (Infor, 2017). Therefore it is evident that technology is enhancing the guest experience which in turn is impacting the customer’s perception of the brand(Infor, 2017).

In house technologies are used to enhance the guest experiences and increase customer satisfaction while reducing pain points (Aurecongroup.com, 2018).
People are increasingly plugging in their own devices for in-room entertainment. The hotel room’s television, radio and clock are taking a backseat as travellers use their own technology to keep themselves entertained. Survey by (Smith Micro Software, 2014) showed that 81% of respondents wanted access to mobile video content at hotels and 55% said that mobile content availability at a hotel would influence where they choose to stay.
Hotels are meeting these demands and providing on tap entertainment and mobile content has led to the trend of hotels investing in cloud services (Aurecongroup.com, 2018). A example of a new technology is Handy mobile a custom-made phone that gives hotel guests unlimited international and local calling and free internet access, both inside and outside the hotel, throughout their stay. This way, visitors can get tailored city recommendations and stay connected at no extra charge, while hotels can stay connected to their guests through the ability to display special discounts and promotions to customers (Handy Travel, 2018).

4.4 CRM Tools
Customer Relationship Management has evolved from call centres and in house queries to new methods via Social Media and the use of Artificial Intelligence (Chowdhury, 2018).
Artificial Intelligence is changing customer relationship management in the hospitality industry. Front-desk hotel staffs are slowly starting to be replaced with artificial intelligence technologies (Medium, 2018).Chatbot is the latest technology that allows guests to communicate with their hotel. Chatbots create conversation through natural language processing and natural language (Chowdhury, 2018).Offering 24/7 support to customers(Medium, 2018). Add in more
As well as Artificial Intelligence, Social Media has also revolutionised Customer Relationship Management, enabling increasing engagement with costumers and increasing brand awareness ethos and creating communities. Since the dawn of social media, brands have been trying to engage and interact with their prospects, leads, and customers in a way that is more human (TechNative, 2018).Social Media conversations with guests and Chatbots have changed conversations with the customer from one way to Two Way. A two-way conversation directly connects brands and consumers (TechNative, 2018). A two-conversation is a dialogue, where brands speak and listen to their audience, responding directly to their wants and needs. These conversations allow the hotel engage with the costumer and create a more personal experience.
Social medias initial purpose was entertainment but has now evolved into a powerful marketing tool (Kemp,2017). Social Media users is increasing by 13% each year, with 1 million new users in 2017 alone.
On the contrary, survey findings report that when dealing with queries 49% prefer over the phone email and online chat both equal at 18% each Face to face 12%, Social media only 1.69% therefore this suggests that customers may prefer traditional phone calls to solve queries rather than social media (See Appendix 1).This is supports (Moran,2017) who suggests that their Hotel group prefers to human contact methods such as phone and face to face to deal with query’s to keep a personal experience as they feel the customer prefer this method. Moran also states they like to keep social media as a tool to engage with customers and provide information rather than a query management system (See Appendix 7)

Section 5
5. How Digital Technologies Impact the Industry Locally and Globally
5.1 Cloud Technologies
Hoteliers are prioritising technology investments that can provide consumer facing mobile solutions and cloud adaptability. Cloud-based hotel software allows faster, more affordable hotel management allowing them to save time, training and, most importantly cash flow. In the past, PMS (Property Management Systems) where used to manage guest check-in and check-out and housekeeping services. Now PMS are moving to the cloud and control the entire booking process interaction (Minett, 2018).
According to (Site Minder, 2017) Cloud technologies have the following benefits;
a) Cost-effective
b) Saves time and increases productivity
c) Secure and safe
d) Powerful processor
e) Improves staff collaboration
f) Helps develop strategies

Hotelogix is an example of a cloud-based PMS.
The results from a case study on “Our Zanzibar Hotel Group” post implementing Hotelogix are as follows; the hotel witnessed a 35% increase in occupancy post implementation. Prior to Hotelogix, the group was using a traditional PMS. This was not very effective, and they had to turn down guests due to no real time interaction, overbooking and manual login. Hotelogix Increase in occupancy, OTA bookings and direct bookings for the group (Hotelogix, 2018), (See Appendix 2).
Ireland is beginning to fall behind the global industry of cloud computing. The most evident way to adapt to this is to invest in the new technologies to keep up with competitors. Enclave technologies advises that companies back up data to the cloud and enhance collaboration to keep up to date (Enclave Technologies, 2017).

5.2 Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence AI refers to computer systems that can sense their environment, articulate information, learn and intervene. Machine learning algorithms and chatbots are examples of AI that are already used by businesses today (PWC, 2017)According to Redmore (2018) Artificial Intelligence is reshaping hospitality via Personalization, Occupancy and Rate Optimization, Staff Interaction and Reputation Management thus delivering better returns, processes and experiences.
On the contrary, disadvantages may arise due to lack of human interaction and the inability of robots to have natural human traits (See Appendix 3).Henn-na Hotel in Japan has implemented humanoid robots has increased business and reduce staffing costs. (Hotel Technology News, 2018) The robotic staff and automated check-in system enabled the hotel to reduce the number of staff to seven(See Appendix 4).
InterContinental Hotels Group has created smart rooms fuelled by artificial intelligence. The new smart rooms offer voice assistants that require specific instructions. Guests can do things like tell their room they are “going to sleep,” and the room will recognize the phrase and know what to do with the information, such closing the curtains and turning off the lights (Esther Hertzfeld , 2018). A total of 100 AI powered Club InterContinental suites will be available at InterContinental hotels in gateway cities and key destinations across China within the year (Appendix 5).Investment in artificial intelligence by Ireland is low: 36% compared with 54% worldwide. Ireland’s adoption rate is likely to be faster than in most of Southern Europe’s economies however marginally lower than that in many Northern European economies. PWC report suggests that Irish businesses need to make the right investments in skills and technologies to enable the translation of these strong fundamentals into successful AI adoption (PWC, 2017).

5.3 Distributive Technologies
The hotel industry got its first taste of Tech disruption in the mid-90’s with the rise of OTA’S. In 2007 Air B and B was launched the initial idea was to offer short term accommodation and networking opportunities for attendees who were unable to find hotel rooms. About 60 million people have now used Airbnb to find an alternative to a hotel. (Le Cordon Bleu, 2018)
According to Nieuwland (2017) hotels lose approximately $450 million in direct revenues per year to Airbnb. With less demand for hotel rooms comes an additional negative effect for hotels and their employees (Nieuwland, 2017).The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AH&LA), announced that it plans to work across the country to battle against the current practices of short-term rental companies such as Air BnB. The association, whose members represent 52,000 properties, says it has crafted a campaign to highlight the unlawful business practices employed by short-term online rental companies and the lack of parity between safety, security, tax, and other requirements for hotels and short-term online rentals (Tnooz, 2014)
In Ireland in 2017, 8,500 active listings for spare rooms and entire homes, with the typical Irish host earning around € 3,500 per year from renting on the platform. Revenue has recently written to homeowners who have let rooms telling them that their tax affairs are under investigation. In Ireland in 2017 Airbnb guests increased by almost two thirds, AirBnB has been disruptive, not just to hotels’ market share but also to rent prices and rental supply. AirBnB has been shown to drive up rents overall. The government are planning to enforce new revenue regulations for AirBnB in order to combat this problem. (O’Halloran, 2018).

5.4 Payment Technologies
The payments landscape is changing as consumers continue to replace cash with card, app or mobile payment in their retail, transit and service transactions. This is making it easier for the customers and saving time for both parties. Globally China is steps ahead of the rest of the world. Mobile payment apps such as WeChat Pay and Alipay are the most popular payment method in China (Winkelman, 2018).
Alipay, is operated by Ant Financial Services Group, is the world’s leading digital payment platform, providing in-store payment service in more than 40 countries and regions across the world. WeChat Pay is an international social communication app designed to allow users to make purchases with the scan of a QR code (Winkelman, 2018).
Boston-area retailers are incorporating these services into their business plans to better target a surge of Chinese tourists. The Mandarin Oriental, Boston is integrating and accepting Alipay and WeChat Pay, China’s most popular and preferred mobile wallet platforms with over 1 billion active consumers (Mest, 2018).

Visitations from China to the U.S. are expected to grow at annual rates ranging from seven to 10 percent over the medium term. By 2020, China is projected to be the United States’ second-largest overseas inbound market according to the U.S. Travel Association (Mest, 2018).
Contactless transit is still emerging in Ireland. The National Transport Authority (NTA) have advanced plans to revamp transit for Dublin as a whole. In Sweden, less than 2pc of all consumer transactions are cash while in Ireland it’s probably at least 50pc. Payments are fragmented; you can pay with your watch, your phone, your card, bank transfer, cash. Soon you will be able to pay with your fingerprint, your face scan, your voice (Kelly, 2018).

Appendix 1 – Survey Results
Primary Research Online survey conducted using Survey Monkey.
Q1
What is your gender?

Q2
What is your age?
Q3
Where are you from ?

Q4
When staying in a hotel what is the main purpose of your trip? (pick one)

Q5
When booking a hotel, how do you book?

Q6
Do you use Social Media?

Q7
What device do you use the most when booking hotels?

Q8
How would you prefer a hotel query to be dealt? (pick one)

Q9
Do online reviews and social media content impact your decision making when booking a hotel ?

Q10
Where do you find out the most information about hotels ? (pick one)

Survey Answers

Appendix 2- Case Study: Hotelogix in Action.
Source; (Hotelogix, 2018)
Our Zanzibar Group witnesses 35% increase in occupancy with Hotelogix cloud-based PMS.
Prior to Hotelogix, the group was using a popular PMS and a Channel manager to manage their hotel reservations and operations. But this was not very effective, and they had to turn down guests owing to the following challenges.
• Manual login to maintain sync between all booking channels
• No real-time interaction between PMS and OTAs
• Overbooking
They were on the hunt for an all-inclusive Property Management System which led them to a few options. But each one lacked one or the other feature. This is when they found Hotelogix and decided to go ahead with the cloud-based PMS to support the group’s heavy operations, for the following reasons:
• 24/7 support
• Issuing invoices to guests
• Rich and diverse reports feature
• Management Dashboard for on-the-go access to hotel’s data
• Improved check-in process and time
Our Zanzibar Hotel Group found the perfect solution to all their hotel operations-related issues in Hotelogix cloud-based Property Management System. They have been using Hotelogix for the last three years and this speaks volumes about how effective the PMS has been in redefining their hotel operations. The group has witnessed a steady 35% increase in occupancy since implementing Hotelogix. They have recorded more than 25% increase in bookings coming in from OTAs. An Increase in direct website bookings. The rich reporting has allowed the group to take data-driven decisions by comparing different timelines.
Appendix 2- Interview with Tourism Ireland
Primary Research Interview with tourism Ireland
20th of July with Roisin Collins Digital Marketing Executive

Who is you target audience?
Our Target Audience is split up into three groups.
1. Culture Curious
2. Social Energizers
3 Great Escapers
How are Digital Technologies Impacting consumers booking decisions?
Social Media is helping business as it is now easier to target the correct people and less wastage is involved, Facebook dynamic is a perfect example of this.
Using target advertisements on social media and online travel agents also increases the booking motivations of consumers as they are more aware and engaged. Along with developments such as “free cancelation “on online travel agencies.

What do you think about global technologies compared to local?
It is very important that the Irish Hospitality industry adapts Global Technologies.
For instance take QR codes and Ali Pay are not popular in Ireland but are very popular in China.
We need to keep up with international developments so we can communicate with customers through their “digital language”.

What future technologies do you think will impact the hospitality industry?
As voice search is becoming more popular technologies need to be invented to target voice searches. Also travel will become more accessible in future years such as shorter flights and driverless cars, which will require adaptation.

Appendix 3- Impacts of Robots
Source : (Wolfe, 2018)
Curiosity: A robot concierge wondering if the elderly couple with their preteen grandchildren really wants to make reservations at a strip joint, rather than a steakhouse.
Trust: A robot front-desk clerk explaining it “understands” that your road warrior frequent guest has had a long day and must be upset that his or her reservation was inadvertently cancelled by the hotel.
Self-awareness: A robot server being aware that its customers are actually in tears because of a new addition to the family rather than the tears of happiness that their youngest child just graduated from college (which was what the reservations had been made for).
Touch: A robot food server saving the day by dusting bits of the white linen dinner napkin off his guest’s dark jacket right before he meets the love of his life’s parents for the first time.
Sense of humor: A robot explaining to one of your best female guests that it is wonderful to welcome her and her “son” back to the hotel—even though it is actually your guest’s boyfriend!

Appendix 4- Case Study: Henn-na Hotels
Henn-na Hotels In Japan to Open Eight More Locations Staffed by Humanoid Robots.
Source: (Hotel Technology News, 2018)
The Japanese have long been pioneers in developing robots to perform jobs traditionally done by humans. That being the case, it should be no surprise to learn that the country was the first to “staff” a hotel run almost entirely by robots. Not just machine-looking robots, mind you, but humanoid robots with lifelike gestures, including moving mouths and blinking eyes, that, for first-time guests, can elicit a simultaneous sense of awe, delight and creepiness.
Henn-na (which aptly means both “strange” and “strange” in Japanese) Hotel first opened its doors in 2015 at Nagasaki’s Huis Ten Bosch theme park and has opened a second property in Tokyo’s high-end Ginza shopping district this week. Now the hotel’s parent company, H.I.S., has announced plans to construct eight more humanoid robot-staffed Henn-na Hotels. According to the company, the plan is to build four robot-staffed hotels in the Tokyo area this year and four others in Osaka, Fukuoka, and Kyoto.
While the hotel brand has so far enjoyed success in deploying robots as a way to both draw in business and reduce staffing costs, which are significant given the country’s shrinking population, the novelty of being greeted and served by robots is no doubt part of the draw for guest, which include a growing number of foreign tourists. The impact on staff reduction and cost savings is nothing short of monumental. Originally, 30 staff members were assigned to work at the 140-room hotel. The robotic staff and automated check-in system enabled H.I.S. to reduce the number of staff to seven.

Appendix 5- Case Study on Inter Continental Smart Rooms
Source : (Esther Hertzfeld , 2018)
InterContinental Hotels Group has created smart rooms fuelled by artificial intelligence. The company has teamed up with Baidu on the rooms, which go beyond offering voice assistants that require specific instructions. Guests can do things like tell their room they are “going to sleep,” and the room will recognize the phrase and know what to do with the information, such closing the curtains and turning off the lights. A total of 100 AI powered Club InterContinental suites will be available at InterContinental hotels in gateway cities and key destinations across China within the year. Customized for InterContinental Hotels ; Resorts, the AI solution is developed by Baidu’s Duero’s Platform. It integrates AI technology with hotel operations, and this is supported by hardware upgrade and cloud service. The AI smart room will use voice-control technology to deliver a more natural human-computer interactive experience. For instance, guests will be able to freely switch settings between work and leisure modes and enjoy a more convenient and seamless experience. This solution will also further fine-tune the current backstage-management system, including customizing information and resetting devices, making hotel management a simpler task.
InterContinental isn’t the only brand rushing to embrace technology in the hopes of wowing business travelers and wooing millennials. Marriott International is piloting a new facial recognition check-in program in China, and IBM Watson Advertising and Best Western have teamed up to create a new interactive ad powered by artificial intelligence. The ad personalizes vacation planning by providing consumers with travel tips and tricks, recommendations for local accommodations, and special offers based on their travel preferences.

Appendix 6- Interview with Tourism Ireland
Primary Research Interview with tourism Ireland
20th of July with Roisin Collins Digital Marketing Executive

Who is you target audience?
Our Target Audience is split up into three groups.
1. Culture Curious
2. Social Energizers
3 Great Escapers
How are Digital Technologies Impacting consumers booking decisions?
Social Media is helping business as it is now easier to target the correct people and less wastage is involved, Facebook dynamic is a perfect example of this.
Using target advertisements on social media and online travel agents also increases the booking motivations of consumers as they are more aware and engaged. Along with developments such as “free cancelation “on online travel agencies.

What do you think about global technologies compared to local?
It is very important that the Irish Hospitality industry adapts Global Technologies.
For instance take QR codes and Ali Pay are not popular in Ireland but are very popular in China.
We need to keep up with international developments so we can communicate with customers through their “digital language”.

What future technologies do you think will impact the hospitality industry?
As voice search is becoming more popular technologies need to be invented to target voice searches. Also travel will become more accessible in future years such as shorter flights and driverless cars, which will require adaptation.

Appendix 7 – Interview with Intercontinental Hotel London
Primary Research Interview with Intercontinental Hotel London
22nd of July with Stephen Moran – Marketing Manager.

Who are your main target audience?
Main target audience is business customers.
From UK, North America and Middle East.

What way do your guest book?
Business customers mostly tend to book directly on our site, however recently we have seen a shift from booking on site to booking through our reward club application.
This is called “you rate” and was launched last year for a 5,500 hotels in your group.
Leisure guests tend to book via OTA such as booking.com and Expedia as they are more prices aware.

Discuss your hotels use of social media?
Our 5 star luxury hotel would focus on using social media to engage with customers while staying rather than attracting new bookings.

How does technology impact your hotel?
Technology is making traveling easier for customer’s decision making process.
Due to reviews and user generated content from sites such as trip advisor, social media and online travel agencies. Technology is also enhancing the customer experience such a Wifi in hotels, I-pads and artificial intelligence.

At Intercontinental our priority is our relationship with out customers. A personal relationship with our customers is very importance to us. Therefore we like to keep human interaction do that our staff can deliver a personal service to the customer rather than technology facing systems.
We prefer to use technology being the seeing rather than customer facing as your coustmers prefer a personal relationship.

How does technology impact the hotel industry locally globally?
Intercontinental Chinas CRM are a lot more advanced then in Ireland and London with technologies such as Quebo and Wii Chat.

What future technologies do you think will impact the hotel industry?
Block chain technologies, Artificial Intelligence in China Rooms see (ICHG article).
Robotics check-in, wireless charging and robotics to improve efficiency (room service and laundry).
Example in Ireland would be Ashford Hotel.

Appendix 8– Social Media Insights on Fota Island Resort.
Social Media Insights -Facebook

Instagram Insights

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