It’s “AI time” for Latin America largest private hotel group

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From Guatemala to Chile, GHL Hotels has 62 properties under management and 5 000 employees operating world-renowned brands such as Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Sonesta, Hyatt and Radisson in Latin America, as well as their own brands: GHL Collection, GHL Relax and GHL Style. 

This impressive track record doubled with excellence in operation is yielding new and exciting innovations such as AI to structure and scale guest relationship management and generate actionable insights for all their properties.

We asked Paula Robayo about her role as Content Management Specialist at GHL, her hands-on experience with Quicktext, the AI super app for hospitality and how she sees the evolution of AI in hotel marketing and guest communications.

“My role is like a service provider for our hotels. I evaluate and select the best digital solutions and technologies for our properties based on specific requirements, then I make sure that they know how to use it effectively with the right process and resources to ensure a good ROI on investment…

We are a large chain and every hotel is different, some are vacation resorts catering to families, others have more business travelers, we need solutions that are really hospitality specific and adaptive… My challenge is to offer a cohesive framework based on components that each hotel can cherry pick or package together according to their needs. We need solutions that scale and integrate well with other systems and provide high quality data that is actionable at both corporate and property level.

Adding new hotels to our management portfolio comes with many challenges:  we don’t know how they have been operated in the past, what systems they are running, what type of data they have or need…  it’s always a bit of a surprise, we need our partners to help us solve uncertainties…”

Does Quicktext meet expectations?

I have a great appreciation for the addition of Velma, our virtual assistant, to our operation. It really fills wide gaps that exist in our customer relationship management. In the past, our staff could not meet the volume of requests we were getting from all our digital channels. We knew that because of the low quality in handling guest communication and the recent data analyzed by Quicktext showed that we were leaving a lot of money on the table. 

So we did a very elaborate and controlled pilot with your team and we saw in the reports that the communication gaps were narrowing, direct bookings from our websites were increasing and the number of incoming calls and emails were drastically reducing. 

The automation in the guest communication process such as review flows, follow-ups, etc… also help us improve without hiring and training new staff. For instance, our web FAQ is dynamically updated using conversational data thanks to Velma, ensuring that it remains fresh, informative, and relevant to our visitors. As a result, we have seen a significant reduction in the number of incoming calls and emails. Furthermore,  organic traffic has improved also due to better indexing of our websites on Google.

I have been able to rely on this tool even though I am not always on it. It is like a trustworthy multi-tasking assistant to keep my hotels and their guests happy!  

Did you try other AI based solutions?

Of course, it is part of our process, always evaluating new solutions to see if they are a better fit with our objectives than what we currently operate with… Compared with other solutions I can tell you that Quicktext differentiates by : 

  • Scaling faster for many properties (some tools require a specific onboarding for each property, impossible to do when you have over 50…)
  • High quality data and reliable analytics
  • Ease of use
  • Support

Do you see AI in the future of hospitality?

Change is permanent, we are continuously benchmarking and evaluating new solutions, AI is a new tool in our digital environment. AI will certainly be managing resources and processes in a complex and diverse environment like a hotel group.

Before AI, the quality of guest communication was highly dependent on our staff which was dependent on the type of hotels which was dependent on the location…   No matter how much we trained people, rigorous consistency with the message and the format was rarely achieved. 

So far, Quicktext are giving us the data we need to really structure guests’ communication and make it consistent at the brand and hotel level. It is also great at analyzing a conversation flow and spotting the clues to anticipate a client’s needs.

Do you think Quicktext gives you a good return on investment?

Related to guest communication and automation, the results are good in general. I was not focusing on conversion because we had other management priorities but we are now in the process of integrating the Quicktext API providing all bookings, leads, conversations from Velma, then augmenting it with data from other channels like Google Analytics, Instagram to feed a unified BI report.  

It will go a long way for raising awareness among all our hotels and will be extremely useful to me.

Do you have any wish for the future?

I’d like to negotiate an all inclusive price package to make our accountant happy… Also have more support and consulting time especially about business intelligence integration, you know like sharing insights and best practices from your other clients. I am sure we can learn a lot more…

On a scale of 1 to 10, what would be your satisfaction with Quicktext?


Velma performance in 2023 : 

  • Conversations managed:  57.452
  • Leads into booking engine: 23.955
  • Leads value: 11.891.306 $
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