We were reading the popular book ‘The Elephant Catchers: Key Lessons for Breakthrough Growth‘ written by the co-founder of one of India’s leading IT company Mindtree.
in the book, to our pleasant surprise, we came across the following case study of Marriott, which we would like to share with you.
Marriott International, a leader in the lodging industry, is exploring ways to use technology in order to optimize profit across its properties, increase the efficiency of its selling processes and enable delivery of impeccable service.
Marriott ‘mapped’ the stress levels of the typical traveller. The study revealed that when a guest leaves home, the individual’s stress level is high. When he or she reaches airport security, the stress level rises further, and then lowers as the person settles down inside the plane. It goes up again when the plane lands and during the wait at the baggage area, and expands, rises and falls from the time of boarding a taxi to the check-in line at the hotel reception. It reaches the lowest level when the guest finally crashes in the hotel bed.
Accordingly, Marriott focuses on the peak levels in the stress maps and looks for ways to use information technology to reduce the levels at the corresponding points of experience. In the future, Marriott’s guests may use an app in a handheld device to check into the hotel before arriving. On arrival they can proceed straight to the room, use their smart phone at the door to enter and, of course, they can order room service before reaching the hotel.
At Blynk, we could not explain our mission better than above. You can reduce your guests’ stress levels today by offering these services, with your white label app, powered by Blynk.
29 Nov 2013
Infographic from the article ‘Hotels faced with new challenges as the average age of guest drops’ in Tnooz.
Mobile emerging channel for planning, booking and on-site activities.
04 Sep 2013
More and more hotels are installing iPads at their lobby front desks. There is a lot of useful information that hotels can display to their guests on these tablets. For example, latest foreign exchange rates, slideshows of their hotel or activities of the day. Our customers have their hotel app, powered by Blynk, so guests can actually interact with the app while they are waiting to be checked in.
Below is a list of worldwide suppliers who manufacture and deliver tablet kiosk stands. We also continually add more suppliers as we discover them on our online support desk.
India, ships worldwide
The Mobile Indian
India, ships within India
UK, ships worldwide
UK, ships worldwide
UK, ships worldwide
US, ships worldwide
US, ships worldwide
US, ships worldwide
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US, ships worldwide
US, ships worldwide
Highlights from the article ‘Google for Hotels: Q+A with David Zammitt, Google Travel Industry Manager‘.
Not just a search engine anymore, Google has dramatically extended its presence and influence in the online travel space in recent years. New features include Hotel Finder, Google+, a revamped Maps application and Local pages, greater prominence of reviews and ratings, and redesigned YouTube brand channels.
Hotel Finder has a number of innovative and exciting features to help users select the hotels they are interested in more quickly. As I said, our goal is to get our users from intent to action as quickly and as smoothly as we possibly can. Hotel Finder does this through the use of detailed search, maps and live hotel rates and availability. We feel that this provides valuable leads to both suppliers and OTAs.
If an advertiser is looking to include their properties on Hotel Price Ads and receive the clicks on their own sites, they may wish to consider one of our Integration Partners, including several leading CRSs (Customer Reservation Systems). This ensures that even small individual properties or chains can have their price and availability showing on Hotel Price Ads.
Highlights from the article ‘Show These Mobile Usage Statistics To Any Travel Executive Resisting Change‘.
Travelers are switching from desktop Web browsers to smartphones and tablets in droves, but some travel companies have been slow to adapt to the change in traveler behavior.
Check out these half-dozen noteworthy statistics about mobile adoption.
30 Apr 2013
Highlights from the article ‘Tablet Usage Growing In The Hotel Industry‘.
Hotels are beginning to move into a more eco-friendly direction to save energy and money. Hotels encourage you to reuse towels, bed sheets, and bath robes a few times before they dispense new ones. Major hotels are looking to differentiate themselves from the competition by providing VIP members with iPads, giving you the bible on a Kindle or booking your entire stay on your tablet.
The San Diego Bayfront and the Boston Marriott Long Wharf are doing very interesting things with the Apple iPad. The hotels are providing the concierges with tablets to provide inquiring guests images of the restaurants, clubs, and tourist attractions that they’re recommending. “Today, all of our concierges have most of their restaurant choices and tourist attractions on the iPad. In an old-fashioned hotel, they’d flip through a three-ring binder,” says Marc Hoffman of Sunstone Hotel Investors, which owns 26 upscale chain hotels.
Many hotels are beginning to provide guests with tablets in their room, which goes far beyond just playing a round of Angry Birds. The New York Plaza hotel has outfitted all of the suites with iPad tablets that allow you to order room service, make restaurant reservations, give wake up calls, check your airline schedules, and even print your boarding pass.
Many hotels are starting to give guests free access to newspapers on any tablet they might have via Press Reader. Instead of buying issues or subscribing to the service, they will give you free access to over 1,200 international editions, which is a boon to international globetrotters that could care less about the local paper left outside their door.
Tablets in hotels are starting to catch on in a big way. A new study found that 53 hotels across the USA found that 82% of guests who had access to the in-suite tablets used them an average of 11 times per stay.
24 Apr 2013
While hotels are actively collaborating with online travel agencies (OTAs) for business, they are often forced to pay large commissions and adhere to conditions set by OTAs. With customers increasingly engaging the services of OTAs to plan their travel arrangements, you may find yourself in a catch 22 situation. The solution as well as challenge is convincing customers to favor your website for bookings over OTAs. The good news is, there are some ways around it. Here are a few techniques you can use to limit your use of OTAs or completely eliminate them from the picture.
1. Special benefits
Special offers and targeted benefits can encourage users to book directly on your website. You can provide value-added corporate bookings, discounted holiday offers and other incentives. Always make sure you explain to customers that your special rates and offers are applicable only when they book directly. In this case, you have a competitive advantage as OTAs face limitations when advertising their offers.
2. Seasonal use of OTAs
You can partner with OTAs on short-term contracts. For instance, you could completely stop OTA bookings during peak seasons when the demand is high, and rely on them during the slower months. During in-demand seasons, you can bank on customers to find you through your website or leverage any other hospitality solution to locate you. To improve your visibility online, you can invest in search engine optimization and social media marketing techniques.
3. Mobile apps for hotels
In a day and age when consumers are accessing information on-the-go, it makes sense to have a unique mobile app for your hotel. You can use this app to encourage your customers to make reservations, get information about special offers and stay abreast of your news. Over a period of time, your app would become self sufficient while you drive quality traffic to your website. A leading e-concierge and e-menu provider for the hospitality industry such as Blynk can provide you effective marketing solutions to attract direct bookings.
OTAs may no doubt be a popular choice but that doesn’t mean you cannot play your hand. Smart planning and execution can help you get your customers back in a real and meaningful way.
Highlights from article in ArabianBusiness.com.
The ‘invisible traveller’ is emerging as the newest profile in the hospitality industry, describing those who want to be self-sufficient during their trip, according to new research by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the largest hotel groups in the world with brands including InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, and consultancy group, The Futures Company.
“Think of this scenario,” the IHG-Futures Company report says. “A booking has been made online. Once the guest arrives, they let themselves in… they use room service – not the restaurant – or consult the menu and place their order at a table fitted with an intelligent touch screen.
“The next night, they order a gourmet BBQ basket – and cook their own food. They’ve carried out their own extensive research about the local area and amenities, so don’t need to ask the concierge staff for their advice.
“In the room, thanks to content downloaded on a personal media device… in-room entertainment options will evolve. We are likely to see ‘Bring Your Own Devices’ come to the hospitality industry in 2013 – much as they’ve come to the workplace. This will enable guests to personalise their experience.
“Playing music from your own MP3 collection or watching films recommended by your friends takes away the anonymity of the traditional hotel room. Indeed, recent innovations such as Apple’s social TV make it possible to imagine that in the coming years, guests will watch TV in their hotel room ‘together’ with friends back home.”
A small number of hotels around the world have started trialling the independent check-in system. Depending on its success, it is likely to be gradually rolled out globally by next year.
Read the complete article here.
17 Apr 2013
Highlights from an article from Hotel Management.
Radisson recently announced a national pilot program, launched across four U.S. properties, designed to innovate guest touch points and ultimately enhance the hotel guest experience.
Among those touch points is improved technological advances and initiatives that Radisson is currently exploring and have begun implementing to simplify and personalize the guest experience from the point of reservation through check-out.
As the hotel industry continues to provide novel advances in digitally driven customer interaction, Radisson is seeking to provide a vast array of tech enhancements designed to optimize time, accessibility, convenience and mobility.
Beginning in March 2013 through spring and summer 2013, Radisson guests visiting select pilot hotels in La Crosse, Wis., Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Seattle will embark on heightened, technology-driven advances that further deliver on the brand’s “Yes I Can!” service philosophy. Upon completion of the pilot program in August, Radisson will evaluate the performance of the enhancement elements and determine potential brand-wide implementation in September 2013.
The enhancements that are in the program include:
- Check-In Choice Kiosks
- iConcierge Mobile App
- Internet Connectivity
16 Apr 2013
Reproduced below is an article from Hotelier Middle East.
Digital-savvy consumers glued to their smart phones will transform the way the travel industry does business.
That was the verdict of a panel of technology experts speaking at the Technology Session at the two-day World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) 13th Global Summit 2013, which concluded 10 April at Jumierah Eithad Towers, Abu Dhabi.
Session moderator, Caroll Rheem, principal analyst at market research company PhoCusWright coined the term ‘splinternet’ to describe new accessibility to multiple devices and the way in which consumers now hop from computer to tablet to mobile phone and back again. “With every click, tap, purchase and abandon, consumers are telling us exactly what they want but we are only just now beginning to listen,” she stated.
Mobile phones are likely to be the focus for new technology as figures from travel-search website Qunar revealed a spike in mobile usage, claimed to be six times that of the internet in the world’s most populous nations with over 200 million mobile users in China alone.
Half of all traffic to travel websites will originate from mobiles by the end of 2014, generating US$26 billion in bookings according to Charles Armstrong, Founder and CEO of TourWrist who underlined the need for interactive and personalised technology such as its 360-degree panoramic experiences replacing outdated virtual tours, which he claimed, could increase online bookings by 67%.
Facebook’s global head of travel, Lee McCabe, revealed that viewing vacation images through social media sites was the catalyst for future travel plans for 25% of its users with 11% booking their next trip to the place eyed in the image. Smart phone usage is now 25% for Facebook and Instagram, 10% more than calling or texting and nearly 10% of sales in the US this year is predicted to be via mobile technology.