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Apple announced in June 2023 that it would make Airplay streaming available for hotel rooms, and now it's here in 60 properties under the IHG brand.

Apple is placing its wireless streaming technology in hotel rooms for the first time in partnership with IHG Hotels & Resorts.

Apple’s Airplay technology is now available in rooms at more than 60 IHG properties in North America, including InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, Hotel Indigo NYC Downtown – Wall Street, and Holiday Inn & Suites Ottawa Kanata.

Airplay allows guests to stream content from their iPhone or iPad to the LG television in their hotel rooms. Guests can scan a QR code to join the hotel’s Wi-Fi, and that gives them the ability to connect the mobile device to the television. Each QR code is unique, ensuring each guests’ content streams only to the TVs in their own rooms. 

LG Electronics and Apple announced last year that they would be working together to create a TV for hotel rooms that enables wireless connections with mobile devices. That was shortly after Apple said it was working on the Airplay tech for hotels, announced during its Worldwide Developers Conference in 2023. The Apple Airplay webpage lists only IHG Hotels & Resorts among hospitality companies using the technology. 

Slow Rollout of Hotel Tech

The lack of in-room tech and entertainment options in hotels is a common criticism among industry experts. There was a time when hotel rooms commonly were seen as more of a luxury; now, the tech inside of people’s homes is usually more advanced than that in hotels. The televisions in many hotels only offer cable, and often no streaming capabilities at all. 

Jolie Fleming, chief product and technology officer for IHG Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement that adding this type of in-room entertainment capability is part of an effort to create a “home-away-from-home” experience that many guests are looking for.  

“When people travel, we know they want to take some of the comforts of home with them – whether that’s watching their favorite shows or finishing a movie they started,” he said in a statement. 

Apple doesn’t have as much history with hotel partnerships as some of its big-tech competitors, but it has been adding clients that use its digital room key feature. 

For hotels that support the feature, iPhone and Apple Watch users can store a hotel room key in their Apple Wallet. The hotel activates and deactivates the key remotely, and the user unlocks the door by holding the phone or watch against the lock. Strawberry (formerly Nordic Choice Hotels) is among companies using that feature. 

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Tags: apple, business travel, corporate travel, future of lodging, ihg, streaming, Travel Trends

Photo credit: IHG Hotels & Resorts is the first hotel group adding Apple Airplay to guest rooms. IHG Hotels & Resorts

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