It’s one of society’s big paradoxes that, at a time when digitization and robotics are being developed in the hotel industry, a study shows that 87% of business travellers still attach great importance to human contact when staying away from home.

Fans of science fiction and high-tech innovation will no doubt have noticed that robotic technology is in the throes of a boom within the hotel world… In Nagasaki, Japan, there’s even a hotel run by robots: guests are welcomed there by a humanoid receptionist and a dinosaur concierge. In California, meanwhile, another establishment has a robotised butler.

Human contact a priority

But while the industry is showing an increasing interest in the automation of its services, a recent study by business travel agency Egencia demonstrates that there’s nothing like good old human contact! Maybe you enjoy having a quick chat with the porter, or want to ask the manager to recommend a good restaurant? Generally, if you tend to return to establishments which you found friendly, then you’re among the 87% of business travellers who value human relations and the personal touch when staying at hotels.

Some striking figures

Of those for whom human contact is paramount, 39% say it helps them avoid feeling lonely, while 41% feel that interacting with staff enhances their experience of the local culture. Another noteworthy finding is that 63% of the business travellers quizzed prefer to check in with physical staff rather than use an automated check-in terminal. Moreover, 74% prefer to have their room service provided by a real person rather than via automated processes. So even if travellers these days are more and more connected, human contact would appear to still constitute a central plank of the hotel business! And at AccorHotels, we’re well aware of this…

Source : Egencia Global Traveller Survey conducted among 8,030 business travellers in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, the UK and the US.