When is enough enough? | TravelResearchOnline


When is enough enough?

I tend to be a fan of technology. I embraced blogging and social media early on. I jumped on the smartphone bandwagon pretty early. Podcasting? Check. Social media? As Sarah Palin might say…you betcha. But are we approaching a saturation point where too much tech is too much?

For years, studies after studies have shown that time away from work (and the Emails, Facebooks, Twitters, Instagrams, phones, instant messages, texts, and voicemails) does wonders for the psyche. Not sure? Leave your cell phone home for one day. After the initial 2-hours of panic, you will see that things are not so bad. They are even peaceful. You will smile.

So when I read an article in Hotel Technology News, I scratched my head!

Locale, Grand Cayman, which opened its doors in March, became the first hotel in the Cayman Islands to feature Amazon Alexa voice assistants powered by Volara in every guestroom.

What? As I read, I could see that it could be a welcome and perhaps useful amenity for the corporate traveler. I could certainly see how it improves the bottom line of a hotel—no need for a pesky person to take a room service order. Need a dining recommendation?—Hey Alexa. Need to get an extra towel?—Hey Alexa. What time does the bar close?—Hey Alexa. Will you return home with a photo of you and your Alexa to show all the neighbors?

This is not escaping from anything. For most, this is a continuation of the behaviors you are trying to forget about.

When I travel, I thrive on the personal connection with the bellman, the front desk clerk, the concierge, the taxi driver, the local shopkeepers and the locals. I can tell you I will not like interacting with a Google algorithm used by and translated by Amazon to “enhance” my experience!

And I get that the hotel in the article is not a typical tourist hotel, but judging from the related links at the bottom, they can’t be too far away.

Hopefully this will be a flash in the pan, but something tells me it might have some legs and be around for a while. So make sure you are aware of the type of getaway your clients may be looking for, and if this “amenity” is being offered in your hotels.

In today’s world, we have lost so much f the personal touch. People do not speak—they text, email and snapchat. The art of conversation is becoming more and more obsolete every day. Leisure travel is one area where we have the chance to regain that; to go off the grid; to recharge; to renew. Please don’t take that away!


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