Hospitality Industry Uses More Custom Mobile Apps to Serve Clients

Marina Astapchik
IT Trends Research Specialist
May 8, 2012

In the hospitality industry success depends on the reputation and satisfied clients that return repeatedly to the hotel or resort. To keep and increase the level of loyalty, hoteliers need to consistently exceed guest expectations and strive to deliver exceptional experience for every guest.

Since mobile and wireless solutions have become an integral part of the daily life, user-friendly mobile sites and mobile applications have turned nowadays into must-have tools for businesses that help them streamline processes and increase productivity. Hospitality apps for smartphones like BlackBerry, iPhone and Android as well as tablets can reinforce the relationship with customers. Furthermore, having an application sends a strong message to the general public that the hotelier is up to date with the latest trends and that its services are of high quality.

Hospitality industry experts say that hotel owners should invest in technology, since mobile bookings and online research will only further increase, which is believed to translate into strong growth in hotel profits. While the number of ready-to-go apps and products is growing, a custom software solution for a hotel will always have its advantages.

According to TripAdvisor 2012 Industry Index survey, 47% of global respondents (accommodation owners and managers) plan to offer a program using mobile devices (e.g. mobile apps, special offers and booking on mobile devices, etc.) to engage with travelers in 2012. In the Latin America region this figure is 50%, in the Asia-Pacific region — 53%.

Figure 1: Hoteliers that plan to engage with travelers using mobile devices in 2012, %
Source: TripAdvisor 2012 Industry Index

Today you can find thousands of travel and hospitality applications across mobile app stores. This has become possible because the development of mobile apps is available now not only for huge hotel chains and luxury hotels, but also for small-independent hotels. Let’s take a look at some features that a custom app can have:

  • Search hotels by hotel name, airport code, price, distance and traveler rating;
  • Check room availability;
  • Make bookings (including last minute bookings);
  • Cancel reservations;
  • Access to picture galleries;
  • Get GPS-enabled directions;
  • Mobile check-in;
  • Click-to-call the hotel's front desk;
  • Order room service;
  • Join customer reward programs;
  • Read customer reviews and valuable tips;
  • Get information about places of interest around the hotel;
  • Integration with social media like Facebook and Twitter;
  • QR-code scanner to provide users with in-hotel experiences and offers.

However, it is not enough to only create a mobile application; hospitality businesses should take care to promote it. In order to encourage people to download apps, hotels can use different incentives, such as discounts for services, special offers, etc. Information about mobile apps can be placed on the hotel's website, in booking confirmation e-mails, social media channels, on brochures, flyers and other marketing materials.

There's more than enough evidence for the hospitality industry to take advantage of custom mobile applications. In some years handsets are expected to become the primary customer touch point for the majority of hotels. Some hotel chains like Accor, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental, Marriott, Sheraton, Ritz-Carlton are successfully using apps already. Even some travel websites have rolled out hotel reservation applications.

Industries and Technology Areas:

Industries: hospitality, tourism, traveling

Technology Areas: mobile application development, software development, iOS, iPhone, iPad, Android, tablet, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, QR code

LATEST ARTICLES

The Importance of Soft Skills in IT (or Simply Any) Domain

Have you noticed? A lot of people in the industry are talking about soft skills these days. So first let’s start with the definition. Soft skills are non-professional skills that are not related to the official duties of a person. Teamwork - that’s the very word to understand what I’m...
READ ARTICLE

IoT for Modern Logistics: Everyone Is a Winner

Nowadays, global spendings on IoT across various business domains don’t cease growing. The International Data Corporation (or simply IDC) predicts that by 2020 this number will grow to $1.2 trillion. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) will reach 15.6%. Many professionals in the logistics sphere use new resources to improve...
READ ARTICLE

Guardian Australia Published Its First Automated Article Using AI

The future has already come. On February 1, 2019, the world's first article, written entirely by a robot, appeared on the website of the Australian version of The Guardian. The robot called ReporterMate (sounds pretty much Aussie-like, huh?) was created by The Guardian journalist Nick Evershead along with a group...
READ ARTICLE