Hospitality Industry Adjusts to Increased Smartphone & Tablet Ownership
In the United States alone, smartphone ownership amongst individuals over the age of eighteen has increased to an astounding 56% this year, according to the most recent research published by Pew Internet & American Life Project.1 Tablet ownership is rising rapidly as well, with 36% of American adults owning a tablet device, nearly doubling since 2012.2
With the rise in ownership of internet-connected mobile devices, the demand for extended mobile services were more desirable for travelers. As a matter of fact, a survey conducted by Smith Micro3 returned results indicating that the majority of travelers were more likely to purchase content that can be accessed via a smartphone or tablet [Infographic].
How does increased mobile device ownership affect the hospitality industry?
The sharp increase in smartphone and tablet ownership empowers the 21st century consumer and hotel guest in ways that the hospitality industry has not seen before. With a virtually constant connection to online reviews, peer recommendations and geo-tags, the consumer can be more selective and picky about where they stay. And more tech-savvy and mobile-friendly properties are scoring the most points.
A recent example of how hotels can embrace this digital trend is Marriot Hotels’ recently announced plans to rollout mobile check-in at more than 300 hotels in the United States and Canada this summer4. With their free Marriot Mobile app, guests can access check-in times and payment information linked to their Marriot Rewards profiles. When the app notifies them that their rooms are ready, guests can pick up pre-programmed keycards from expedited mobile check-in desks.
An example of perhaps the most radical adoption of Digital is ‘hub by Premier Inn’ by Whitbread PLC to be launched in 2014. This hotel group, the largest in the United Kingdom, is fully embracing the rise of mobile technologies. In ‘hub by Premier Inn’ hotels, guests will be able to fully control their room with their smartphone or tablet device5 with the ‘hub’ app to adjust room lighting and temperature, select programs or stream content to their TV and even order breakfast.
Another example of how hotels can offer extended mobile services is an offering like PressReader , a newspaper and magazine digital kiosk. Hotels can offer guests unlimited access to thousands of global newspapers and magazines once they are connected to the hotel WiFi – all through their own personal device.
How is the tech industry responding?
The mobile app community is quickly catching onto the technology needs of the hospitality industry, and on July 14, experts from the hotel and mobile app community are congregating to initiate the conversation on the standardization of in-hotel WiFi services.6
Mobile apps for hoteliers are being developed, with the following app companies making waves this year:
LoungeUp is a mobile hospitality solution that enables you to interact with your guests during their stay, which can be used as an app on mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, or as a web-based service on laptops.
|Kony Mobile Hospitality
Kony Mobile Hospitality is a ready-to-run mobile application that enables hotel patrons to better manage their travel experience through a mobile device.
PressReader is a mobile application that allows hotel guests to access thousands of same day global newspapers and magazines, when they access through a hotel that is a “PressReader HotZone”.