Skift Take

Although in-room technology upgrades receive most of the media attention, hotels' public spaces are arguably an even more important space to focus on guest innovation.

This week we’re investigating how hotels are integrating technology into hotel lobbies and public spaces.

While much of the recent innovation has occurred in guest rooms, an increasing number of hotel chains are embracing technology to help make their properties’ public spaces more user-friendly. Services like mobile beacons that assist with guest navigation, and even robots in some cases, are seeing increased adoption. Will such improvements simply serve to generate news headlines? Or will the technology lead to increased room bookings and guest satisfaction? Read on below for all this week’s top digital marketing and technology news.

In-Room Hotel Tech Heads to the Lobby
Lots of hotels have already invested in new technology systems like smartphone room entry and messaging systems that help improve the in-room guest experience. Now an increasing number of hoteliers are turning to technology to help upgrade their properties’ public spaces as well. Among the solutions getting more attention are beacons that help guests navigate large convention spaces, robots that interact with guests, more accessible power outlets and more interactive signage for meetings and events. Read more

Conde Nast Traveler Partners with Skyscanner on New Flight Search Tool
Travel media websites often play an important role in travelers’ inspiration and decision-making. Yet because of a variety of analytics and measurement challenges, it’s often difficult to connect the dots between these sources of inspiration and an eventual purchase. It’s with this in mind that Conde Nast Traveler is deploying a new flight search tool, powered by metasearch company Skyscanner, on its website. The move is likely to help Conde Nast earn referral revenue from flight bookings and better compete for ad dollars from performance-driven advertisers Read more

Hilton Doubles Down on Mobile in New Marketing Initiative
Hilton Hotels is going all in on mobile in 2016, launching a series of new mobile-focused marketing initiatives to try and cater to growing traveler use of mobile devices. Among the campaign tactics Hilton is launching are national TV spot encouraging customers to book direct using the chain’s branded mobile app, a variety of new mobile-centric hotel features like keyless room entry and room selection, and a mobile-focused social media contest targeting millennials. Read more

Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau Looks for New Agency Partner
Miami’s Convention & Visitors Bureau is on the hunt for a new advertising partner to help the city reinforce its position as a year-round international travel destination. The new agency will handle a variety of marketing responsibilities for the group, including creative, media planning, mobile-optimized website design, social media, analytics and omni-channel marketing. The search also includes a request for a web-development partner to work on the brand’s various websites and apps. Read more

Cornell Hospitality Study Emphasizes Importance Analyzing Guest Feedback 
Many hotel owners will admit they are maniacally focused on their properties’ guest ratings on sites like TripAdvisor. But according to recent research from Cornell’s School of Hospitality Management, focusing only on star ratings can mask larger guest concerns with a property. According to Cornell’s analysis, hoteliers need to focus on the text analytics in guest comments, and not just their star rating, in order to truly address key traveler issues. Read more

The Challenges of the Travel Industry Social Media Manager
As anyone who handles daily social media for an airline or cruise company will attest, working as a social media manager in the travel industry can be a slog. As a recent post from an industry veteran confirms, those who are considering the job should set expectations that the position often involves dealing with cranky customers, managing hard-to-please influencers and relatively little opportunity to travel on the company’s dime. Read more

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Tags: content marketing, Digital Marketing

Photo credit: Hotels are increasingly integrating new technology features like mobile beacons, more power outlets and interactive display signage into their public spaces. PortoBay Hotels & Resorts / Flickr

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