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Travel and hospitality businesses focus heavily on evolving technology to make improvements to the guest experience. However, implementing new technology can threaten global distribution systems that have been in place and have historically served as a base for new interfaces and platforms. Read more.

Hotels are finding alternatives to traditional room service to attract guests who still want food deliveries without the typical offerings or price tags. Hotels are partnering with local restaurants to bring unique dining options straight to guests’ doors. It can be an attractive option for travelers, especially the late arriver or business traveler who wants to experience local dining without leaving the comfort of their room or pausing their work. For hoteliers, these partnerships can mean big savings when it comes to operations and food production. Read about three Chicago hotels that are taking advantage of different food delivery options here.

The Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment Disorders has developed a training program for local hospitality businesses to help welcome guests with autism. Only about a dozen hospitality businesses have these programs in place. Read about how hotels are partnering to make their properties more autism-friendly here.

Hospitality businesses in Asheville, N.C., which currently has low unemployment rates, are having a hard time sourcing staff locally. To address the issue, hoteliers are partnering to form a carpool network for new hires with a far commute. Employers will also share the costs of the arrangements with carpoolers. Read more.

An STR report looked at meeting planners’ considerations for North American markets and found that they most often considered Chicago, Orlando, and Washington, D.C. markets, followed closely by San Diego and Las Vegas. These markets are particularly popular for conferences with at least 1,000 attendees. Read more.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence—technologies seen in consumer products such as Siri, Amazon Echo, and Google Home—are starting to make the jump over to the hospitality industry. One way that hospitality companies are adding this tech to their offerings is through chatbots, which have gained enormous popularity among consumers who want quick and easy answers when using online services, without having to wait on hold to speak to a person. The AI market is expected to grow to over $4 billion in the next three years, so hoteliers should expect to see more of this technology and begin incorporating it into their operations sooner rather than later. Read more here.

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