Mobile-driven and in-hotel technologies
InterContinental Hotels Group, one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has announced that it is trialling and selectively rolling out several digitally-driven innovations to provide a more personalised and interactive experience for guests. The announcement follows IHG’s signing in April of a landmark agreement with leading technology-solutions company Amadeus, to develop a powerful cloud-based Guest Reservation System (GRS) – a first for the hospitality industry.
Developing more meaningful relationships with guests
Michael Menis, Senior Vice President Digital and Voice Channels, IHG, commented: “We continuously gather insights from consumers, which enables us to research, develop, pilot and launch new ways of engaging with guests across their Guest Journey. The initiatives we are showcasing today are really exciting because they reinforce how our digital capabilities add value beyond the booking opportunity. They are an illustration of how we evolve our content strategy to stay connected with guests and develop more meaningful relationships with them.”
Mobile-driven and in-hotel technologies
IHG’s digital initiatives draw on a mixture of mobile-driven and in-hotel technologies, allowing IHG to own the Stay experience and add value across other areas of the Guest Journey through consumer-focused propositions. They include:
Travellers want to experience the destinations they visit in the same way a local would. IHG looks for ways to deliver compelling and authentic digital content across the Guest Journey that allows them to do exactly that.
Guests booking with IHG in one of more than 50 key destinations across the globe will be able to use digital travel service Stay.com to research and plan their travel, and create personalised travel guides to share with friends. The guides can be downloaded to Stay.com’s mobile App, for use both on and offline. They include access to tips, insights and recommendations from hundreds of local influencers around the world.
IHG will begin directing guests to Stay.com from 25th June, 2015.
Mobile Check In and Check Out
The Mobile Check In and Check Out service gives guests the flexibility to manage their stay via their mobile device, including confirmation of arrival time and SMS notification of when their room is ready. It is in the process of being rolled out in the Americas region and will be rolled out globally over time. US-based IHG Rewards Club elite members will have exclusive access to the service in the first instance, as IHG continues to link loyalty and direct booking with our most innovative services.
Mobile Folio is an extension of Mobile Check in and Check Out. It allows guests to view their hotel bill in real time on their mobile device, before receiving their final bill during Mobile Check Out.
Mobile Room Key Technology
IHG is testing new technologies in the US to support mobile room keys. These will give guests the opportunity to bypass the front desk when checking into their room.
IHG Guest Request
Swift responses to guest requests are essential to improving guest satisfaction. With this in mind, IHG is trialling IHG Guest Request, a service which allows guests to make a request instantly through the IHG App. The App then uses a platform which logs, assigns and tracks requests, making it clear to hotel staff what the current status is and who is responding.
iBeacon technology is being used to drive even more personalised and meaningful interactions with guests. Beacons placed in the lobbies and restaurants of IHG hotels recognise IHG Rewards Club members using the IHG App in close proximity. They then send information to the guest’s smartphone, including personalised notifications and offers relevant to their stay. The pilot is being implemented in a selection of hotels in China.
IHG Translator App for Apple Watch
In March, IHG announced that key feratures of the IHG Translator App would be available for Apple Watch, helping travellers make the most of their experience, wherever they are in the world. By speaking directly into the watch, or selecting from a range of pre-loaded common phrases, the app gives travellers access to on-demand translations from English into 13 different languages. This builds on the success of the IHG App for mobile, which has received more than 4 million downloads since its launch.
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