The drumbeat in the hotel industry over the last few years has been purely about technology. It's being pushed heavily by an information technology industry that discovered an industry living in the dark ages.

Every conference I have attended recently had multitudes of companies selling every remedy possible to what ails the industry. They all promote one technological advance or another that can quickly bring exponential revenue and profitability.

Granted, the hotel industry required tech updates to be done across the board. This is especially true when it comes to Wi-Fi architecture, and our industry has many more miles to travel to meet the demands of the traveling public.

As the industry continues to make the climb up the IT mountain, we cannot forget the human touch of personal service, which will bring happiness to those who are being cared for and for the caregiver. I continue to find this to be the reality at my own hotel and when I travel.

This summer, I traveled with my family to drop off our daughter for the start of her college life. The onto one takeaway we can hold onto from every hotel or restaurant we visited was from establishments where we received genuine compassionate care. The convenience of the apps on our mobile devices quickly gave way to disappointment in many places when we encountered a diminished human experience.

In our hotel, we have found a yearning from our guests to wind down, sit down and share stories. They want to talk about what is going on in their lives a hunting experience, a wedding or a newborn baby being welcomed to their family. In my case, several guests even took my son, interning during the summer, under their wings to offer mentoring.

Making a deeper engagement with guests is part of our everyday culture for management and ownership. Rather than the typical routine of working "breakfast Wednesdays," we've adopted impromptu greetings and regular evening gatherings, and yes, our management team has to regularly prepare the meals. If you are wondering, we do not forget breakfast many times the conversation from the evening gets carried over to the morning meal.

The same magnanimous care should be extended to the guests throughout their stay, and every member of the hotel should be part of this experience delivery system. Maintenance should engage the guests during the day. Room service staff should be equally engaged in delivering a hearty welcome or enquire about the positive experience of the stay.

I am a firm believer that technology in the service space will never replace the human touch. Rather, as technology evolves and becomes ever so more intrusive in the workplace and in travel, the personal gentle touch that only an hotelier can offer to the traveling public will be craved even more.

A truly appreciative and caring smile will set the tone for the entire guest experience cycle. The guest will not gain this experience from the website, from the OTAs or from an app. And just as much as the guest arrival is important in establishing the positive relationship during the stay, the departure of the same guest from the hotel is equally important.

It is almost guaranteed that not a single auto-generated, algorithm-driven "thank you" email will ever replace the loving goodbye from a member of your staff. Make a thankful and welcome "we'll see you soon" by every member of your staff an expectation, an integral part of the ethos of the daily routine of the hotel just as much as the cleaning cycle is for a room attendant. You'll be better off for it.

We as an industry will be richly rewarded for keeping the delivery of service the primary focus of every aspect of what we undertake each and every day. In the spirit of hospitality, until we meet through these pages again, thank you for reading and I look forward to continuing our conversation.