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Artificial intelligence – the end of hospitality?

Panel discussion hoteliers at IGEHO 2024

Artificial intelligence – is this the end of hospitality?

In the inspiring panel discussion at this year's IGEHO, moderated by Dr. phil. Hilmar Gernet, editor-in-chief of «Hotelier», two visionary pioneers of the Swiss hotel and catering scene met: Thomas Holenstein, CEO of Sebotics, and Tim Moitzi, Managing Director at Campus Hotel Hertenstein & Neuro Campus Hotel THE TOMORROW. The topic of the discussion: Artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics in hospitality – a vision that is becoming reality.

Panel discussion hoteliers at IGEHO 2024

Thomas Holenstein, the pioneer in digitalization and robotics, opened the discussion with his work in robotics. Holenstein's company Sebotics was significantly involved in the introduction of service robots in the Swiss hotel and restaurant landscape. He emphasized that the outbreak of the corona pandemic and the associated restrictions on catering establishments represented a turning point for his robotics innovations. His vision: having repetitive, simple tasks carried out by robots. This allows human employees more freedom for hospitality and service.

Tim Moitzi, as an application pioneer, complemented this perspective with his experiences at the Neuro Campus Hotel DAS MORGEN. Moitzi, who has implemented robotics in his operation, highlighted the importance of increasing efficiency through technology. He described how the use of robots and digital systems, such as automated check-in/check-out processes, not only improves operations but also creates new opportunities for personalized service and guest experiences.

AI and robotics

Moderator Hilmar Gernet brought a critical perspective. By addressing potential risks and ethical concerns surrounding the ongoing development of AI and robotics. Both guests agreed that as technology advances inexorably, it is essential to manage its development responsibly and keep potential risks in mind.

The discussion also highlighted the practical aspects of technology implementation, such as investment costs and the adaptability of different business sizes. Holenstein and Moitzi shared personal experiences and challenges and emphasized the importance of tolerance for mistakes and continuous learning.

Future of digitalization

Finally, thoughts turned to the future. How will advancing digitalization continue to change the hotel and catering industry? Both experts agreed that the industry is still in its infancy when it comes to digitalization and robotics. But they see huge potential to revolutionize the quality of hospitality.

This discussion was not only a glimpse into the future of hospitality, but also a call to the industry to embrace the opportunities of digitalization and robotics while dealing responsibly with their challenges. Thomas Holenstein and Sebotics are at the forefront of this revolutionary movement. 

The entire conversation in full length with all the facts about artificial intelligence in the catering industry:

Or as a special episode directly in IGEHO podcast.

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