(PhD.Student, L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan & Rixos President Astana, General Manager, email@example.com)
The new generation technologies (NGTs) such as Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, sensors, and robotics are the basis of the Industrial 4.0 revolution. Tourism industry is an industry that adopts technological developments rapidly due to its structure. Industry 4.0 technologies are also rapidly gaining ground in the tourism industry. One of the reasons why new generation technologies find use in hotels is because hotels want an effective way of doing business. New generation technologies not only increase the customer satisfaction, but also provide benefits to the subjects such as reducing energy costs and reducing waste. At this point, the attitude of the staff towards the new generation technologies and the ability to use these technologies are important. Therefore, the aim of the study is to examine the new generation technology in waste management in hotels. As a result of the literature review, 9 interview questions were prepared. In-depth interviews were held with the managers of 5 five-star hotels with these questions, For this purpose, suggestions were made to the managers.
Keywords: New Generation Technologies, Waste Management, Hotels
Hotel investors and managers have the perception that NGTs improve financial and operational performance. International chain hotels tend to use the latest generation technologies in their hotels in order to create a high-tech image (Siguaw et al., 2000). Hotel investors and managers expect NGTs to reduce labor and time spent on operations and improve service quality (Tuominen and Ascencao, 2016). Hotel guests expect NGTs access to faster and more efficient information to stay in the best hotel with the best room rate (Xiang and Gretzel, 2010). Guests accommodation experiences can be enhanced with the latest technologies in the room (Seric and Gil-Saura, 2012). Therefore, tourism firms tend to adapt rapidly to new generation technologies. New generation technology used in hotels such as building management technologies, point of sale technologies, promotion and marketing technologies, supply technologies, in-room information technologies and energy management technologies are applied to meet the operational needs of hotels. In this context, smart systems create an effective and efficient ecosystem by connect the tourism stakeholders (Boes et al., 2016).
Hotels can use big data and Internet of Things technologies in the context of waste management. For example, a system to be established with artificial intelligence between the big data and the demographic characteristics of guests and the amount of buffet waste has the potential to reduce the rate of food waste. With the help of algorithms and big data collected in the kitchen department, automatic menus can be created by artificial intelligence to provide waste reduction. Thus, waste reduction can also be achieved during food preparation and cooking. Sensors can be measure humidity and temperature in the kitchen, food storage areas and buffet areas and systems can be activated with the Internet of Things when the necessary.
By enabling guests to check in remotely through their mobile device, hotel owners can better predict/manage their staffing needs and save considerably on labor costs. Today more and more hotels are offering guests room access via their smartphone app. This is saving costs from printing environmentally harmful plastic keycards and its eliminating the hassle of managing keycard inventory that is prone to loss and demagnetization. Smart occupancy sensors will also help hotels push menu notifications to smartphones at optimal times when the guests are in their rooms. These notifications can even include personalized suggestions based on past orders. Thus, food waste can be prevented (Attala, 2019). The aim of this study is to determine is to examine the new generation technology in waste management in hotels with in- depth interviews.
2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
The term ‘smart’ has entered the literatüre with Industry 4.0. smartness conceptualized as the use of real-time and real-world data, data integration, data sharing, and the use of complex analytical modeling, optimization, and visualization to make better operational decisions (Harrison et al., 2010). Technologies in the smart tourism system are components of information systems that provide correct information, better decision support, greater mobility and ultimately higher quality tourism experiences to visitors and service providers (Sigala and Chalkiti, 2014). Internet technology and new generation technologies have helped to develop the smart tourism industry (Kim and Kim, 2017). Recently, great efforts have been made to use big data and augmented reality technology for smart tourism. Big data analysis is used to support visitor decision making, to develop tourism brand strategies and to support visitor participation (Del Vecchio et al., 2018).
Hotels have started to have mobile applications with Industry 4.0. The first aim of hotels to have mobile applications is to offer guests the possibility to make information / reservations via their smart phones. One of the factors affecting the likelihood of using mobile applications is its content and information (Rivera et al., 2016). Therefore, hotels should meet the needs of guests at maximum level through mobile applications. Mobile applications also allow the creation of big data for hotels. Im and Hancer (2014) state that the main reasons for downloading mobile applications in the tourism industry are to learn about the hotel and make transactions via smartphone. Quick Response (QR) codes, one of the new generation technologies, have provided many technical solutions to the tourism industry. QR codes have found use in the hotel industry to digitize traditional loyalty cards (Höpken et al., 2012).
Sensor and beacon technologies are required for a successful smart network. Internal sensors help to monitor the operational activities of hotel applications outside and inside the hotel (Yick et al., 2008). Beacons can find location of guests within the hotel and send personalized messages (Toedt, 2016). The Internet of Things (IoT) enables the connection of traditional physical objects from machine to machine over the Internet and allows users to communicate with remote controls (Holler et al., 2014). The need for human power is minimized because each physical object can automatically communicate with others via the Internet of Things technology (Alsaadi and Tubaishat, 2015). In the hotel rooms, the systems such as the temperature of the rooms, TV channels and ventilation can be adjusted before the guest arrives in the room with using the old guest data (big data).
Kim and Kızıldağ (2011) investigated the potential of using mobile devices to provide employee training in departments such as houskeeping, restaurants and room services. They determined that mobile learning could increase the effectiveness of personnel training. Kim et al (2014) explored the potential of using mobile technologies to improve employee collaboration and productivity. As a result, they concluded that the technical department in hotels is the most appropriate department to adopt mobile technologies to increase efficiency and cost control. Jeong et al (2016) partially confirmed this proposal by identifying hotel employees’ perceptions of the use of mobile technologies at work. They found that employees believe that the use of mobile technologies increases their own activities and job performances, and then they think that their job satisfaction and commitment to the organization increase (Jeong et al., 2016).
Questions such as how much, how often, and how are commonly used as measurements in quantitative studies written for the natural sciences (Yazıcıoğlu and Erdoğan, 2014). In the social sciences, quantitative research methods primarily are used in positivist research.
Qualitative research, on the other hand relies on assumptions, a wider perspective, theory, and issues focusing on either social or individual problems (Creswell, 2007). Unlike quantitative methods, qualitative research benefits from different methods, and provides the researcher with an in-depth analysis of the case being investigated (Marvasti, 2004). Within the framework of the aim of this study, we deemed qualitative research as being the most suitable tool at our disposal because it allows us to examine the facts in their natural environment as well as the meaning that people give those facts.
The research was carried out by the following methods: 1) desk research concerning the hotels; 2) a cartographic inventory of categorized 5-star hotels functioning in Kazakhstan; 3) structured individual in-depth interviews with the managers of the hotels (Lesniewska- Napierala and Napierala, 2017). In-depth interviews were used for the purpose of the study, given their wide-spread use in qualitative research (Denzin, 2001). Interviews are important because they allow researchers to observe people’s feelings, thoughts and worldviews (Merriam and Tisdell, 2015). The in-depth interviews were used as a basic, qualitative method to achieve the goal of the studies (Minichiello et al., 2004). The in-depth interviews were conducted on the scenario. In Table 1 research questions individual questions are given.
|Research Questions||Individual Questions|
|What is the range of NGTs used by hotel enterprises?||What kind of new-generation technologies are used in the hotel entity for waste management and recycling, in particular room division, food and beverage division, general and back office, in-room new-generation technologies (NGTs)?|
|What is a perception of NGTs by hotel employees?||What are the expectations of hotel employees regarding the use of NGTs?|
What is the willingness to use NGTs by hotel employees?
What are the ability, skills and competencies to use NGTs
by hotel employees?
|What are the relations between human resource management and adoption of NGTs in the hotel enterprises?||What are the tools that hotel manager use to make employees familiar with NGTs and eager to use NGTs?|
How do you motivate your employees to use NGTs?
How do your employees improve their skills and
competencies to use NGTs?
|What is the impact of NGTs on hotel competitiveness?||What are the advantages, disadvantages, challenges and achievements of using NGTs by hotel entity in terms of waste management and recycling?|
Does using NGTs allow hotel to decrease costs, e.g. by decrease number of employees, energy saving etc?
Do you recognize the new business opportunities emerging through NGTs in terns of waste manegement? If so, what kind of opportunities are enabled by NGTs in
terms of waste management?
9 selected managers (M1 to M9) were interviewed. Empirical research (desk studies, cartographic inventory and interview) was carried out on March 2020. Than the interviews were transcribed.
4. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The range of NGTs used by hotel enterprises are;
- Electronic plastic bottle collectors,
- Mobile devices where the online menu is loaded. Replacing the material on thechairs, made a new upholstery on them,
- Interactive TV – using instead of most of the paper advertisement and as anonline menu, requests of service (taxi, room cleaning, etc.),
- Trello application – using instead of a paper notebook, all information in oneplace, no waste of paper, time-saving,
- Digital frames, TV sets in all the hotel – instead of the paper brochures,
- Ipad at the reception – maps, hotel info, prices for spa, goods, etc. – instead ofpaper brochures,
- Ipads in the outlets – instead of the regular paper menü,
- The motion sensor in the lighting system,
- Online c/in – c/out,
- Electronic key
- Online order before arrival,
- Using straw paper.
Two hotel managers stated that not many NGTs were used in their hotels. These managers explained this situation with the following statements; “today within in my property there is no such new technology used. The country itself is not pushing hard enough for it and the mother company cannot deploy a preferred solution nor give any particular recommendations” (M2) and “basing on hotel’s experience I can share our waste management and recylcing system. Despite the fact that no new-generation technologies are involved in our waste management and recylcing system consider it worth sharing” (M3).
Hotel employees’ first and utmost expectation on the use of NGTs is the optimization of delivery time in service. Other expextations of employees is creating a safe atmosphere and simplification of the work process. Hotel enterprises expectation of the use of NGTSs is to detecting the needs and wants of repeated guests and exceeding their expectations in delivering products and services, optimizing energy resources lie electrcity, heating, air conditioning and water with no harm to the confort of guests, rationalizing purchase of products (vegetables, seasonal fruits, fish and meat) and oversupplying them and keeping them in stores until they reach their product deadlines, reduce negative environmental impact, help operations, decrease of paper waste, faster communication, time saving.
Unfortunately, in most cases, the essence of a person is that he is not always open to new changes and does not want to accept the news, if step by step correctly convey to the employee the value and show how it works and what we will have in the end, then the forecasts that the employee will be ready to accept them are the most positive. Generation Z employees have a sort of resistance in willingness to use new-generation technologies in hotel. Employees are ready to use NGTs because of fast-growing digitalization in people’s private life. New generations are aware about new tecnologies and willing to use them in their all life including working life.
The ability, skills and competencies to use NGTs by hotel employees depend on the product, age and social status of an employee. Most of the young generation (before age 30) are have enough ability, skills, and competencies to use NGTs (product is doesn’t matter). Between age 30-55 may not have enough ability, skills, and competencies to use, however, have enough possibility (potential, capacity) to learn in a short period. After age 55 something simple (WhatsApp, e-mail, maybe smart TV, etc.) can master, but something really new for them – it will be difficult, but possible. One of the managers noticed “40 % of our team members are Generation Z and they are technology driven members of our society and easy learners. Other 60% need to be trained to obtain necessary skills and competencies to use new-generationtechnologies” (M2).
The tools that hotel manager use to make employees familiar with NGTs and eager to use NGTs are presentations of hotel waste mamagement and use of NGTs, training programs, motivation programs on use of NGTs, incentive program for cost and energy saving, use examples take as a basis examples from other countries, presenting NGTs examples from the world, inviting partners to present their products, showing result with NGTs and without, a pilot project. One of the managers noticed that “in our hotel we use and waste tons of papers for internal reports. I have announced 2020 a year of digitalization, meaning that we stop using A4 papers for our daily reports, corrections and adjustments instead we use our internal program and send all corrections and adjustments in electronic version and head of departments involved put their digital signatures for approval and in their turn accounting department archive them in electronic files and folders with a limited access of people responsible” (M2).
Firms motivate employees to use NGTs with tools such as infoboards and sharing corporate wellbeing, community service programs, practically put trash separation at the employee canteen, put signs in offices, use recyclable paper bags, don’t use plastic straws, encourage not to use plastic bottles, showing NGTs positive impact and advantages through trainings, incentive programms for the superior results and awarding who are getting new skills. One of the managers noticed that “every new technology is a learning experience and development opportunity for everybody. Learning new skills in a fast paced environment can make people grow responsibility and consequently income and status” (M7).
The advantages, achievements, disadvantages and challenges of using NGTs by hotel entity in terms of waste management and recycling are shown in Table 2.
|Advantages & Achievements||Disadvantages & Challenges|
|Minimizing labor cost|
Timely and trackable data collection to
help future progresses
Helping different industries to develop
Marketing boost for the brand
Reduce all paper documentation
Switch to on-line model
Encourage guests to get involved
Time, cost and energy saving
Decreasing number of employee
Decrease of paper/plastic/product waste
Increase of guest loyalty
|Resistence from the employee as there is a risk of job loss|
Older properties might face diffculties to adapt
Owner`s might resist in short term due to investment difficulties
The market is not ready to move to this stage
No well-developed recycling infrastrucure overall in the city
Lack of knowledge
Isn’t always cost effective
The high cost of NGTs
More bureaucracy is needed
The system requires tight control until it
Using of NGTs allow hotel to decreasse costs by energy saving and cost saving as well. In terms of saving energy both as an employee and as a whole. Reduce paper use. The absence of paperwork for filling out, sending information by on-line would significantly reduce the time that an employee spends on filling out. For example, using Ipad, e-mail, WhatsApp can decrease paper waste and save cost. Electronic keys in smartphone or reusable plastic bottle in bathroom (instead of a small one) can decrease plastic waste. Automating service where it possible (without loosing of guest contact) can decrease the number of employees. Smart systems in the room and motion sensors can save energy and decrease cost. Hotels believe proper use of NGTs is always about decreasing the cost of everything. One manager illustrate their practices like that “the new-generation technologies without fail decreases costs, a small example we have installed sensor taps in all our public toilets and they decreased a waste of water tremendously. In employee locker rooms we removed paper tissues and installed hand-dryers. Another example is within 4 years we have changed all lamps in our hotel to led lamps and this action decreased our electricity cost by 15% in consumption volume and 20% in cost saving. As for a potential of employee decrease as a result on new generation technology implementation, I have not personally experienced yet, thus in my opinion it does not decrease, it just well organizes the work and improves the service and safety” (M2).
Manager do not refuse the new business opportunities emerging through NGTs in terns of waste manegement. A certain part of the waste is incinerated, which provides electricity, less emissions into the atmosphere, to make a special chute where employees are free from the sort by function garbage, plus the fact that will not need to use cars for transportation, do not need to be a worker, saving gasoline and thus emissions in the air will be less. Recycling of waste is a huge opportunity to reduce costs and to drive incremental revenues. Selling off paper, glass, used oil can all be driving more money and preserve the planet as well as resources. Also it will become in the future for all companies a competitive advantage and drive incremental revenue.
Tourism industry is an industry that adopts technological developments rapidly due to its structure. Industry 4.0 technologies are also rapidly gaining ground in the tourism industry. New generation technologies not only increase the customer satisfaction, but also provide benefits to the subjects such as reducing energy costs and reducing waste. The aim of the study was to examine the new generation technology in waste management in hotels. In-depth interviews were held with the managers of 5 five-star hotels.
The range of NGTs used by hotel enterprises are mobile devices where the on-line menu is loaded, interactive TV – using instead of most of the paper advertisement and as an on-line menu, requests of service (taxi, room cleaning, etc.), Ipad at the reception – maps, hotel info, prices for spa, goods, etc. – instead of paper brochures and the motion sensor in the lighting system. Two hotel managers stated that not many NGTs were used in their hotels because of the lack of resources.
Hotel employees’ first and utmost expectation on the use of NGTs is the optimization of delivery time in service. Hotel enterprises expectation of the use of NGTs is to optimizing energy resources lie electrcity, heating, air conditioning and water with no harm to the confort of guests, rationalizing purchase of products decrease of paper waste, faster communication, time saving. Generation Z employees have a sort of resistance in willingness to use new- generation technologies in hotel. Employees are ready to use NGTs because of fast-growing digitalization in people’s private life. The ability, skills and competencies to use NGTs by hotel employees depend on the product, age and social status of an employee.
Using of NGTs allow hotel to decreasse costs by energy saving and cost saving as well. In terms of saving energy both as an employee and as a whole. Electronic keys in smartphone or reusable plastic bottle in bathroom (instead of a small one) can decrease plastic waste. Automating service where it possible (without loosing of guest contact) can decrease the number of employees. Manager do not refuse the new business opportunities emerging through NGTs in terns of waste manegement. In this context, the following recommendations were made;
- Hotels should be given training on NGTs to employees,
- Customers should be informed about NGTs at the hotel,
- Since the use of NGT will benefit the hotel in the long term, the necessary budgetshould be allocated for NGTs,
- Compatible NGTs technologies in waste management (such as reducingelectricity use) should be integrated into hotels,
- Big data should be collected with NGTs to prevent food waste,
- Menu planning and purchasing processes should be carried out with big data andartificial intelligence analysis,
- To reduce paper usage, digitalization should be started in hotels with NGTs.
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