JUNE FOCUS: Sales & Marketing


Revolutionizing The Hospitality Industry With Generative AI

A Guide for Prompt Engineering and Introducing AI Agents

By Michael Goldrich Founder & Chief Advisor, Vivander Advisors | December 2023

In merely 5 days last November, the Generative AI application ChatGPT reached one million users, a feat that took Facebook 10 months and Netflix 3.5 years to accomplish.

This revolutionary shift has impacted numerous industries, with marketing teams being the early adopters. However, the potential of ChatGPT extends far beyond trained marketers. Despite its power, there remains a fundamental lack of understanding about its capabilities. Once fully grasped, ChatGPT presents countless opportunities for hoteliers, both in revenue generation and operations.

AI 101

To create a program capable of conversing with humans, the AI must learn to choose the right words. This process involves machine learning, a technique pioneered by Claude Shannon. He identified patterns in the English language that can be utilized to generate new sentences, and subsequently developed a computer program to produce novel sentences by randomly selecting words fitting these patterns.

At times, the computer program would become stuck due to the lack of suitable words fitting the pattern. Scientists resolved this issue through a technique called voting, where the program identifies groups of words that match the end of a sentence it's trying to generate, and counts how many times each word appears after these groups of words in the examples it has been provided. The program then selects the next word based on the highest number of votes.

To enable ChatGPT, two additional techniques are required: feature detection and natural language processing. Feature detection classifies specific words or phrases in a piece of writing into different categories. Natural language processing (NLP) teaches computers to both understand and communicate with humans through language. This involves analyzing the meanings and relationships between words and phrases.

The language model, an artificial intelligence program, learns to comprehend and generate human-like text based on patterns observed in data sourced from a vast array of text sources. This allows the model to learn grammar, vocabulary, and contextual information, generating coherent and relevant text.

ChatGPT stands out due to its advanced capabilities, high-quality text generation, versatility, transfer learning, fine-tuning, customization, and easy integration. These features make it a popular choice for various applications, including content generation, summarization, question-answering, translation, programming help, and more.

The Prompt

One of the most vital concepts in working with OpenAI is the prompt. While the OpenAI prompt might appear as a simple search bar, it is actually the entry point for initiating a session to acquire information through free-form communication. When crafting a prompt, it is essential to be clear and concise while also supplying sufficient detail for the AI to comprehend the context and desired result. The saying "Garbage In, Garbage Out" has never been more fitting when it comes to prompt creation.

Factors that could confuse the system or result in "garbage" include: Context (unclear context may lead to poor output quality in responses), Domain knowledge (it might be unaware of events, discoveries, or information changes since September 2021), Ambiguity (ambiguous information or questions in the input message), Language (its primary focus and strength lie in English, and it may offer less accurate responses in other languages), idiomatic expressions and slang, and fact-checking (it depends on the data it was trained on and cannot independently verify facts).

To maximize the potential of ChatGPT, it's crucial to understand the components of a good prompt and provide clear, concise input with sufficient context while using the model within its knowledge and capabilities.

The emergence of "prompt engineers" across various industries highlights the importance of crafting well-thought-out prompts to yield valuable output. The remainder of this article will use a fictional hotel, Vivander Hotel, as an example to explore the anatomy of a prompt and demonstrate how to effectively combine its components.

Unlike Google, where minimal effort is required when conducting a search, the opposite is true with ChatGPT. To get a good answer, it requires a good amount of forethought. This is why there is a new role through various industries called "prompt engineers". These are people that know who to create prompts that yield valuable output.

For the purpose of the remainder of this article, we will use a fictional hotel called the Vivander Hotel that has a key target audience of millennials, and it is located in Las Vegas. The below are parts of the prompt anatomy. At the end, we will put them all together with a few examples.

Provide Clear Instructions: Start by telling what you want it to do. For example, you could prompt the system to write a captivating blog post about Vivander Hotel for millennials.

Share Context or Background Information: Include important details in the prompt to help the system understand the topic. For instance, you could mention that Vivander Hotel has a rooftop bar, a fitness center, and a chic lounge area.

Specify Desired Format or Structure: Tell the system how you want the information to be presented. For instance, you could prompt the system to create an infographic with five reasons why millennials should choose Vivander Hotel.

Set the Tone and Style: Provide guidelines on how you want the writing to sound. For example, you could prompt the system to write an upbeat and modern review of Vivander Hotel for a millennial audience.

Identify the Target Audience: Tell the system which the writing is for. For instance, you could prompt the system to write a social media caption for millennials to promote Vivander Hotel.

Provide Examples: Show the system what you want by giving examples. For instance, you could prompt the system to write a tweet about Vivander Hotel, such as "FOMO? Experience the ultimate getaway at Vivander Hotel! #TravelGoals #VivanderVibes."

Establish Constraints or Limitations: Tell the system what to avoid. For example, you could prompt the system not to mention other hotels or competitors when writing about Vivander Hotel.

Define the Role of the AI: Tell the system how it can help. For example, you could prompt the system to help be the global expert in brainstorming and help brainstorm unique event ideas for millennials at Vivander Hotel.

Personalize the Writing: Make the writing special for someone. For example, you could prompt the system to write a customized email offer for a specific person to stay at Vivander Hotel.

Include a Call-to-Action: Tell the reader what to do. For example, you could prompt the system to write "Swipe up now to book your epic stay at Vivander Hotel."

Use Keywords: Include specific words in the prompt. For example, you could prompt the system to use the words "Vivander Hotel," "rooftop bar," and "millennials" in a catchy tagline.

Provide Sources: Tell the system where to find information. For example, you could prompt the system to visit Vivander Hotel's Instagram page to find inspiration for a millennial-focused social media post.

How do we put all this together?

In the below examples, I put in parentheses the component parts of the prompts described above.

  • Write a captivating blog post for millennials (Clear Instructions) about Vivander Hotel (Share Context or Background Information) showcasing its unique features, including the rooftop bar, fitness center, and chic lounge area (Identify Target Audience and Share Context or Background Information). Use a conversational and upbeat tone (Set Tone and Style) and include at least five reasons why millennials should choose Vivander Hotel in an infographic format (Specify Desired Format or Structure). Avoid mentioning other hotels or competitors (Establish Constraints or Limitations) and use the keywords "Vivander Hotel," "rooftop bar," and "millennials" in the title and body of the post (Use Keywords). Provide sources of information such as the hotel's website and social media pages (Provide Sources) and include a call-to-action at the end of the post to book a stay at Vivander Hotel (Include a Call-to-Action).
  • Personalize an email offer (Personalize the Writing) to a millennial named John Sullivan (Identify the Target Audience) offering a special package deal for his upcoming stay at Vivander Hotel (Share Context or Background Information). Provide clear instructions on how to book the offer and include the hotel's contact information (Clear Instructions and Provide Sources). Use an upbeat and modern tone (Set Tone and Style) and include a call-to-action to book the offer (Include a Call-to-Action). Avoid mentioning other hotels or competitors (Establish Constraints or Limitations) and use the keywords "Vivander Hotel" and "millennials" in the subject line and body of the email (Use Keywords). Specify the desired format as an email (Specify Desired Format or Structure) and provide examples of similar deals that have been offered by the hotel (Provide Examples).
  • Write a social media caption (Identify Target Audience) for millennials (Share Context or Background Information) to promote the grand opening of the new rooftop bar (Share Context or Background Information) at Vivander Hotel. Use an upbeat and modern tone (Set Tone and Style) and include a call-to-action to visit the bar (Include a Call-to-Action). Specify the desired format as a social media caption (Specify Desired Format or Structure) and use the keywords "Vivander Hotel," "rooftop bar," and "millennials" in the caption (Use Keywords). Avoid mentioning other hotels or competitors (Establish Constraints or Limitations) and provide examples of other successful social media posts that have been used to promote the hotel's amenities (Provide Examples). Provide sources of information such as the hotel's social media pages (Provide Sources).
  • Help brainstorm unique event ideas (Define the Role of the AI) for a millennial-focused event (Identify Target Audience) at Vivander Hotel. Use a conversational and creative tone (Set Tone and Style) and provide clear instructions on submitting the event ideas (Clear Instructions). Specify the desired format as a list of event ideas (Specify Desired Format or Structure) and include examples of successful events hosted at the hotel (Provide Examples). Avoid mentioning other hotels or competitors (Establish Constraints or Limitations) and use the keywords "Vivander Hotel" and "millennials" in the prompt (Use Keywords). Personalize the writing by addressing the prompt to the reader (Personalize the Writing) and provide sources of information such as the hotel's website and social media pages (Provide Sources).

AI Agents

Because developing a good prompt is just the first part because though they are not yet available, AI Agents will soon be introduced, and they need a clear prompt to ensure they are properly activated.

An AI agent can perform specific tasks autonomously. Unlike a prompt, a specific instruction described above, an AI agent is a self-contained program designed to carry out tasks with little or no intervention from humans.

The ultimate purpose of an AI agent is to automate repetitive tasks. The benefits of AI agents include faster and more accurate task completion, increased efficiency, and improved customer experiences. AS with every new technology, there are also potential drawbacks, such as the possibility of errors or unintended consequences.

In the hospitality industry, AI agents can be utilized in several areas. Marketing teams can use AI agents to analyze customer data and create targeted campaigns based on guest preferences and behavior. Sales teams can employ AI agents to respond to customer inquiries and make personalized recommendations for accommodations and other services. Revenue management teams can benefit from AI agents that analyze pricing and demand data in real time, adjusting room rates to maximize revenue. Operations teams can leverage AI agents to schedule housekeeping and maintenance services, optimizing efficiency and guest satisfaction.

If you stop and think about the potential dark side of AI Agents from the hotel's marketing team perspective (find a book me a hotel for tonight that is nearby and has at least a 4-star rating, and is less than $200 a night), this is quite scary because all the effort made to digitally get the guest's attention is bypassed by the AI that is just booking a nearby hotel that meets the prompt requirements.

Opportunities & Challenges

The introduction of AI agents presents both opportunities and challenges for hotels, ownership teams, and brands. The first step in embracing generative AI is to assess the next step is to invest in education and training for key team members. This includes understanding the capabilities and limitations of generative AI, learning how to create effective prompts, and staying updated on the latest developments in the field. Providing team members with the knowledge and tools to navigate this new technology will help ensure that the company can maximize the benefits of AI integration.

Once the company has identified its needs and goals, the next step is pinpointing the specific use cases for Generative AI. These could encompass anything from personalized marketing campaigns, email blast calendars, and guest sentiment analysis to trends analysis from analytics. By determining the use cases, companies can devise a plan for employing Generative AI to achieve their objectives.

After identifying the specific use cases, companies must ascertain the resources they need to carry out their plan. This might range from conducting workshops and training, investing in new technology infrastructure, and/or collaborating with third-party vendors with specialized knowledge of the hospitality industry and this technology. By comprehending the required resources, companies can establish a realistic timeline and budget for their Generative AI strategy.

A Generative AI strategy should encompass a plan not just for implementation but also for ongoing monitoring and optimization. This involves consistently reviewing the data and insights generated by the technology and making adjustments as needed.

Training and upskilling employees is another crucial component of a Generative AI strategy. Companies need to ensure that their employees possess the skills and knowledge necessary to work effectively with the new technology. This may involve investing in training programs or partnering with educational institutions to create customized courses.

Lastly, an effective Generative AI strategy necessitates a culture of innovation and experimentation. Companies must be willing to take risks and try novel approaches to fully harness the potential of the technology. Companies can stay ahead and position themselves for long-term success when they adopt a culture of innovation.

Generative AI presents a very significant opportunity for companies to drive growth, reduce costs, and enhance customer satisfaction. Yet, for them to fully capitalize on the potential of the technology, companies must take the time and develop a comprehensive strategy that aligns with their business objectives. The internal teams are already utilizing it, so it is crucial to ensure everyone is using it correctly to maximize profits and productivity.

Mr. Goldrich Michael J. Goldrich is the Founder and Chief Advisor of Vivander Advisors, a prominent generative AI consulting firm focusing on hotel marketing. He assists hotels, hotel owners, and hotel brands in developing innovative, AI-driven strategies for sustainable growth. As the Chief Experience Officer of The Hotels Network, Mr. Goldrich supports hotels in adopting cutting-edge technology and prediction personalization to attract and engage leisure travelers on their websites. Prior to his current roles, he served as the Head of Global Marketing at Club Quarters Hotels, working to expand brand contribution and adapt to post-pandemic market shifts. He has experience in transforming marketing organizations, having implemented e-commerce and digital capabilities for various global businesses such as Starwood, Accenture, Monster Worldwide, and Wyndham. Mr. Goldrich earned a BA in Literature from the University of Michigan, an MA in Business Communications from Northwestern University, and a Digital Marketing certificate from Northwestern's Kellogg School. Extended Biography & Contact Information

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If any provision(s) of this Agreement is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be contrary to law, then such provision(s) shall be construed, as nearly as possible, to reflect the intentions of the parties with the other provisions remaining in full force and effect. HotelExecutive's failure to exercise or enforce any right or provision of this Agreement shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision unless acknowledged and agreed to by HotelExecutive in writing. The section titles in this Agreement are solely used for the convenience of the parties and have no legal or contractual significance. This Agreement may be assigned in whole or in part by HotelExecutive. This Agreement may not be assigned in any manner by you without the express, prior written permission of HotelExecutive.

Any and all disputes or controversies of any kind, including but not limited to any performance, duty, obligation or liability arising under or related to this Agreement which are not first resolved informally, shall be determined by binding arbitration in San Francisco, California, in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The final award in any such arbitration proceeding shall be subject to entry as a judgment by any court or competent jurisdiction, provided that such judgment does not conflict with the terms and provisions hereof. The jurisdiction of the arbiter (or arbiters) with respect to legal matters shall be limited only by the statutory and common law of the State of California and the United States.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, any and all disputes, which the parties cannot informally resolve, regarding the scope of issues or matter with the jurisdiction of the arbitrator, shall be resolved by a separate dispute resolution process whereby HotelExecutive, in its sole discretion shall elect the dispute to be resolved by either (1) a court of competent jurisdiction in the State of California or (2) a panel of three new arbitrators.

This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California notwithstanding any conflict of laws provisions. You and HotelExecutive agree that the venue for all legal disputes, controversies, actions of any kind arising under or related to this Agreement shall be San Francisco, California. You and HotelExecutive further agree that in case of any litigation regarding this Agreement, you irrevocably and unconditionally (i) consent to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state and federal courts in the County of San Francisco, California for any litigation or dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement, (ii) agree not to commence any litigation arising out of or relating to this Agreement except in the California Courts, (iii) agree not to plead or claim that such litigation brought therein has been brought in an inconvenient forum, and (iv) agree the California Courts represent the exclusive jurisdiction for all litigation relating to this Agreement.


Hotel Business Review Subscriptions

If you choose to purchase a subscription, member subscription payments can be made in U.S. Dollars, as well as a variety of international currencies. Membership terms are Annual Recurring, and Monthly Recurring. The Annual Recurring subscription is an annual commitment and subscribers will be charged each consecutive billing cycle. Annual Recurring subscriptions can be cancelled after the first billing cycle and within 30-days of the billing date for a full refund. Monthly Recurring subscriptions are ongoing and subscribers will be charged each consecutive monthly billing cycle. Monthly Recurring subscriptions can be cancelled after the first month and within 7 days of the monthly billing cycle for a full refund.


Payment for the services provided to you in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive may be made by automatic credit card, debit card, direct debit, bankwire or Paypal and other approved payment means offered in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive, and you hereby authorize HotelExecutive and its agents to transact such payments on your behalf.

You hereby authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card to pay for your membership to HotelExecutive. You further authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card for any and all purchases of products, services in association with HotelExecutive. You agree to be personally liable for all charges incurred by you in association with your access or other use of any content provided by HotelExecutive or any third party in association with HotelExecutive. You acknowledge and agree that your liability for all such charges shall continue after termination of your access or any type of membership arrangement with HotelExecutive.

In the event that you have chosen to have your membership automatically rebilled, unless and until you notify HotelExecutive that you wish to cancel or terminate your membership to HotelExecutive, you hereby agree and authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to automatically renew your membership to HotelExecutive on a continuing basis and to charge your credit card (or other payment means you have selected) to pay for the ongoing cost of your membership. You hereby further authorize HotelExecutive's Internet Payment Service Provider to charge your credit card (or other approved payment means you have selected) for any and all purchases of products, services and entertainment provided to in, at, through or in association with HotelExecutive.


The following is the Privacy Policy for HotelExecutive

We can be reached via telephone, email, or online at our contact page. When you visit our site we do not log any information regarding your domain or email address. Information Sharing: We do not share user information with any third parties other than via press release distribution as described below.

Hotel Newswire is a newswire service that distributes press releases on behalf of our users. If you decide to submit a press release for distribution through our system we will transmit your entire press release including any personal information therein contained to our media contacts and online distribution points including search engines. This is the only redistribution of your information that we engage in. Your submission of press releases through our system indicates consent with this policy. The information we collect during your registration process is used to notify users about updates to our service and inform users of any special events hosted by Hotel Newswire. This information is not shared with other organizations for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

Cookies: Our system requires the use of cookies to enable the user to log back into our website to access information from the newswire, without having to log in each time using the required username and password.

If you do not want to receive email from us in the future, please let us know by following instructions included in our communication with you. Users who supply us with telephone numbers online may receive telephone contact from us regarding their account, or informing them of new products and services available on the HotelExecutive website. If you do not wish to receive such telephone calls, please edit your account and remove your phone number from your account profile. This can be done from your user account menu.

Ad Servers: We do not partner with or have any relationship with any ad server companies. From time to time, we may use customer information for new uses not previously disclosed in our privacy notice. If our information practices change at any time, we will post the policy changes to our website to notify you of these changes and provide you with the ability to opt out of these new uses. If you are concerned about how your information is used, you should check back at our website periodically.

Upon request we provide site visitors with access to all information (including proprietary information) that we maintain about them. Users can access this information by logging in to their account.

Security: We always use industry-standard encryption technologies while transferring and receiving user data exchanged with our site. We have appropriate security measures in place in our physical facilities to protect against the loss, misuse, or alteration of information that we have collected from you on our site. We do not store credit card information in our systems.

If you feel that this site is not following its stated information policy, you may contact us.

Mia A. Mackman
Robert  O'Halloran
Don DeMarinis
Patric Yumul
Daniel Chao
Allison Boccamazzo
Jeff Dover
Amanda Gray
Toby Manulak
Matthew Engel
Bendegul Okumus
Eric White
Coming up in January 2024...