New technologies have the potential to offer hotel guests a range of new services and tools, and many travelers have come to expect that the places they stay should have the latest services at hand.
A survey of hotels worldwide conducted by Hospitality Technology found that hotels’ use of many digital technologies increased between 2012 and 2013. The use of mobile websites climbed to 76% from 60%, making it the most widely used technology. Mobile apps, meanwhile, declined to 40% from 43%. Despite this year-over-year decline, 70% of respondents expected to employ mobile apps by 2015.
Apps are a great way for hotels to personalize guest services, and hotels are using them for a range of purposes. Making reservations was the most common feature on existing mobile apps employed by hotels, used by 72%. That was followed by property searches that didn’t rely on GPS (50%), the ability to submit real-time feedback via a guest survey (44%), information about the surrounding area (41%), accessing loyalty account information (38%) and making property searches using GPS (38%). Many, if not all, of these services have long been provided by hotel staff, but mobile apps allow those offerings to reach much greater scale.
Hotels and other accommodation businesses are not only using mobile devices to provide services to customers, but are also keenly aware of the potential they serve as a delivery method for messaging. A survey conducted in January 2013 by StrategyOne on behalf of TripAdvisor found that more than one-fifth of accommodation businesses worldwide used mobile devices to present customers with special offers. And one in 10 used a mobile program to push deals to mobile users located near their property.
It’s this combination of customer service and engagement that makes mobile devices such a potentially effective means for hotels to connect with their clients.
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