What users want from hospitality and travel smartphone apps

Hotel appsA recent study points to smartphone features that surveyed participants say they currently use or expect to have available from hotel and travel mobile applications. Conducted by Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research (CHR), the report The Mobile Revolution Is Here: Are You Ready? is the first of a multi-phased project sponsored in part by Intel and Monscierge, for advancing mobile innovation in the hospitality industry.

A few of the high-level findings note that guests are particularly interested in using mobile for: room-ready notifications, requesting room amenities, hotel services and rooms upgrades. The data also reflects women and younger travelers were particularly willing to share personal information on a limited basis in exchange for special services offered.

“This is the first look at guests’ mobile expectations while they are on property, proving that guest desire a mobile-enhanced experience. These expectations aren’t unrealistic. We’re using our phones to get our prescriptions, do our banking … already various relationships of trust,” says Gene Hopper, Strategy & Alignment, Monscierge. “Guests expect to use smartphones to build connections to their hotels, to take the friction out of regular tasks.”

The study speaks to digital platforms used for both the pre-trip phase and during the travelers’ stay. It touches slightly on post-stay connections, looking at personal information guests are willing to share that might boost poor hotel-to-guest engagement or potentially increase onsite revenue. One item of note – the report significantly found that travelers prefer one app that could be used to create a personal travel profile, serving as a central location for their information and preferences. This is so hotels could provide a more customized experience rather than needing to download apps for individual hotels or brands.

The next report is expected later in 2015, continuing to develop out the usage and preferences of travelers, as well as how mobile is affecting hospitality staff behind the scenes.

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