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A rethinking and re-imagining of hotel–guest dialogues is underway.
The expectation is increasingly that contact and cultivations of experiences will begin earlier in a given trip. And mobility and different kinds of screens are playing roles in this development. Travelers’ understandings of how kiosks and mobile devices fit into the business and leisure hotel-stay are transforming as brands introduce new options.
Nearly 60% of polled guests in relevant demographics suggest, in the above chart, that interactions with screens — in addition to, or in place of, humans — is increasingly acceptable when justified by clear benefits. And brands are already addressing digital outreach as a promising location-based and situation-prompted experience.
One example of a hospitality brand adapting in this way — on both the guests’ side of the equation and also the management end — is International Hotels Group.
“Our first touch-point is when we reach out to a guest and say we know you’re on your way, go ahead and use our mobile app to check-in and to get into your room — and know that everything is going to be ready when you get to the property,” said IHG’s Chad Westfall, director of Global Web Delivery.
Once on site, IHG intends that in the near future app-based tools will allow guests to use their smartphone as a room key, or even to order fresh towels at the tap of a screen. Automated systems would then route requests to nearby service staff . Employees, also be equipped with mobile devices for this purpose, are digitally prompted and then undertake the wanted task.
Next steps for IHG and multi-screen outreach, Westfall said, also include geo-mapping — tying properties and guests into apps that can, for example, welcome loyalty-program members and/or make contextual offers while travelers are in lobbies, restaurants, bars, and at on-site retail locations.
Earlier this month, we launched a new FREE Skift Travel Trends Report, Travel Brands in a Multi-Screen World, brought to you in association with Adobe. Above was an extract from it. You can download the full report here for all the insights.
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