Hodges Bay Resort and Spa harnesses AI for enhanced operations


LOOP- Companies in the Caribbean tourism industry have already begun using generative artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise their service and product delivery to customers.

Jeff Wellemeyer, tech entrepreneur and Chairman of the Hodges Bay Resort and Spa, told a panel today at the University of the West Indies’ Five Islands Campus Caribbean 2024 AI Conference that the resort is using generative AI technology to give guests a comfortable experience as they enjoy all that the property has to offer.

“At Hodges Bay, we have a bar that’s down by the oceanfront, and there’s always a controversy over what music is playing and how loud the music’s playing and so forth. So, what we do is we have an AI that takes a picture from the security camera every minute and it uploads it, and it determines how many people are at the bar. If there are more people coming, it we adjust the music and the volume based on how many people are there,” Wellemeyer stated.

Dr Luz Longsworth,Senior Corporate Director at Sandals Corporate University, said the resort is using generative AI and e-learning tools to assist with the training of its 18,500 team members, who are spread across its resorts in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, Bahamas, Grenada, Barbados, Curaçao, Turks and Caicos, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Tourism Minister Charles Fernandez told the panel, which was titled: “Unleashing the Tourism Potential: Revolutionising Experiences through Generative AI and Technology 5.0 Innovations” that there are many ways Antigua and Barbuda could utilise generative AI to make the visitor experience on island better.

He proposed using AI to oversee visitor arrivals.

“One of the things that we faced with in Antigua, and I would imagine a number of other countries, is the whole aspect of over tourism. So, we need to find out, for example, where is the cutoff point?

“On cruise ship days, for example, at the height of the season, you have a lot of traffic. So you have all kinds of bottlenecks. And the last thing you want is for your population to start to say, look, this is too much of a headache. This is a nuisance. And so, we lose that whole aspect of warmth and hospitality that we are known for. So you could use AI, for example, with the police to generate which are the best routes to reduce the time, for example, from the airport to the hotel.”

Fernandez, Longsworth and Wellemeyer agreed that generative AI has great potential for the industry and should be explored further as the technology develops.

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