Travel – on the sofa, and the hotel - without staff
Imagine a long-distance trip that can be safely made at home on the couch, or visit a full self-service hotel, the smart owner of which will make a profit with the movement of a computer mouse and will learn such a business he independently with the help of virtual self-development programs. With these ideas, the Erasmus+ project "Smart Hospitality" was launched. It was initiated by the Institute of Strategic Self-Management (SSI), which brought together the best experienced partners of the Lithuanian Association of Creative Future Ideas (KAI), Estonian People - People (EP2P), Tenerife Employee Training Centre (TJT) and Greek European Training Project Institution (IDEC).
To this end, in 2019-2021, the aim is to develop a smart hospitality training program and a virtual self-assessment tool for hospitality entrepreneurs. It was only at the start of the project that the COVID-19 pandemic hit, which required a closer look at both the essence of hospitality, the need for travel in terms of climate change and the training methods of workers in this sector in times of development of virtual solutions. In a way, COVID-19 has facilitated the implementation of project tasks, having had a positive impact on the acceptability of smart hospitality and virtual self-development methods in the partner countries of the project.
Synthesis of smart hospitality business
Human life since time immemorial is linked to travel, accommodation, nutrition, health and other services, the provision of which is nowadays named as a hospitality business. Indeed, hospitality is a key word in the tourism business, which means taking care of the quality of travel, ensuring a successful business of tourism services. As a person develops, the hospitality business inevitably improves as his new needs arise. The key to success is the ability to outperform time and offer the traveler a better service complex and be able to improve their business towards smart solutions and profitability.
By developing the methodology of innovation Virtualics for many years, the Institute of Strategic Self-Management has created a qualitative leap in growth consisting of physical, economic, green, sustainable, and smart growth stages. The smart growth stage is linked to the use of artificial intelligence, robots, and virtual technologies in the hospitality business. The improved Circular Economy 3.0 methodology has helped to identify a decline in material, energy, manual, and office labor costs as smart business moves. And such smartness criteria are four: a) economic – less manual, b) ecological – environmental non-pollution, c) social – longer life expectancy of people, and d) responsibility – do not leave problems for future generations.
We found that on the road to the quality of smart hospitality, we need to strive at all stages of the service cycle: Smart Marketing, Smart Communication, Smart Accommodation, Smart Food, Smart Health and Smart Local Transportation Quality. This cycle defined 54 areas of hospitality services and identified 54 technologies and solutions that match the quality of smart hospitality.
Smart Hospitality Learning Program
Modelled on the qualitative development of education, the SSI found that it takes place according to a qualitative trichotomy: a)teaching, b)education and c)virtual self-improvement. Therefore, we have tried to adapt the development of a smart hospitality training program to each of the historical steps. A training program with a common methodology and 6 modules of the tourism service cycle was developed for adult learning and included a training course of 23.5 academic hours.
To make the training materials as much as possible for remote and independent virtual studies of hospitality entrepreneurs and employees, the teaching material in English was implemented on the SSI iSelf-Improvement portal as an independent learning tool, consisting of 176 questions with 4 answer options for each. By reading textual material and reviewing, trying to answer questions, and examining, a person can quickly master knowledge and a training course.
After the SSI deciphered the Learning Unit as a successful program for improving smart hospitality, the SSI "Genius" program was used to enable the learner to constantly assess their success abilities with the help of the self-worth program "iGenius". For to improve practical skills of innovation projects creation special virtual tools and business plan model are offered to learners.
Virtual Self-Assessment of smart hospitality
Created a smart hospitality virtual Self-Assessment tool iHsat is designed for business owners, developers, and administrators of the hospitality sector to constantly assess the quality of the smart hospitality business achieved, plan innovation and reduce material, energy, manual work and office costs, which will guarantee an increase in business profitability.
After answering to 54 questions every time, iHsat presents the level of quality of hospitality achieved, the amount of costs, future development trends and periods of achievement of smart hospitality goals. With the help of mentors, hospitality entrepreneurs get clarity on how to get the hotel out of materials and energy, manual, and office work over the next decade. While these goals may seem far-forward, a look at all 54 areas of hospitality activity can be found in the advanced innovations already developed for smart homes, wasteful consumption, autonomous connectivity, 3D cooking and other advanced innovations. Only a few areas of hospitality are still waiting for innovations linked to handmade bedding change, personalization of beds, etc. In this respect, the project identifies areas where the intelligence of creators and newcomers is expected.
By adapting smart hospitality approaches, the learning program, and virtual Self-Assessment tools in partner countries, we hope that the achievements of the project can be widely used for the qualitative growth of the hospitality sector both in the European Union and globally.
Project "Smart Hospitality", No. 2019-1-LT01-KA204-060464 is funded with the support of the European Commission.
This notice reflects only the views of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Prof. Dr. Stasys Paulauskas, Director of the Institute of Strategic Self-Government of the PiS, coordinator of the project "Smart Hospitality".