Takeaways from Rise - How technology will affect hospitality
Being based in Hong Kong, heading over to RISE conference wasn’t too much trouble for our team, and we very much enjoyed our week at and around the event. Here are a few takeaways from last week.
Hong Kong’s Presence is on the “RISE”
Having lived in the city for years, it’s encouraging to see a larger number of startups that are not exclusively fintech focused. Hong Kong developed a reputation for not being very startup friendly, perhaps rightly so, and has been playing second fiddle to Singapore in recent years. It’s obvious that the local approach towards creating and supporting a functioning ecosystem needs a drastic adjustment, and maybe, the conference was an insight into what’s to come.
Interesting for us at Portier Technologies in particular, there now seems to be a much larger set of travel-focused startups across Hong Kong. Being a major travel hub and given the amount of opportunities to test a solution in the city, Hong Kong offers a lot for those who want to venture into the travel segment - there’s a vast array of hotels (luxury and budget), a variety of activities (urban and rural) and an incredible number of international travellers, all in this arguably small city - that just cries out for hospitality and travel tech.
In Travel, Pragmatism beats Cutting Edge
Many of the travel tech startups that I came across were now looking at more pragmatic things. For instance, a company called ATIOM is focused on gamified staff training, Guidoo delivers B2B experiences and Cocotel simply focuses on beach getaways. While the technology supporting these platforms might be unique in its way, it was encouraging to see a reset towards delivering real value, rather than an extensive focus on buzzwords.
What’s Next for Hotels?
It seems clear that the value of the human has been gaining more attention. After a long(ish) stretch focusing on the likes of housekeeping robots, we’re back to people again. When a couple of years ago, there was a significantly more intense conversation around automation in hotel environments, it now seems as though we’re talking about enhancing the already existing human resource.
That sits very well with us at Portier Technologies. While our platform is indeed powered by an array of AI features, in reality, our aim has always been to support the human - that’s not just more romantic, but at the end of the day, this makes hotels unique over its competitors. A personal conversation with a concierge might bring me a lot closer to an unforgettable experience than having a robot deliver fresh towels - this is very much in line with our philosophy.