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Majority of North American business travellers commonly use hotel apps: GBTA Foundation

Opportunity exists for hotels to implement innovative technology

Sunday, September 11, 2016, 13:00 Hrs  [IST]
By HBI Staff | New Delhi

Business travellers commonly use hotel apps according to a new study released by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). Three of five (61%) business travellers have downloaded at least one of the seven major hotel chains’ apps on their smartphone in the past year, with more than half of those travellers (54%) having at least two and one-quarter (25%) downloading at least three.

These business travellers most often use hotel apps to check the status of a reservation (43%), manage their rewards points or account (43%) and book a hotel stay (39%). When breaking it down by age group, Baby Boomers (55+) are most likely to check the status of a reservation while Millennials (18-34) are most likely to use apps to find more info about available amenities, order room service and contact hotel employees, even though not all hotel apps offer these features. In general, business travellers routinely use hotel apps and are largely satisfied with their use of hotel apps for various purposes in the past year.

One-quarter of business travellers indicate using mobile-check in on their last business stay at a hotel with Millennials and Gen X-ers (35-54) doing so at a much higher rate than Baby Boomers. If keyless entry expands, travellers will likely use mobile check-in more frequently.

“Hotels have room to expand the capabilities of their mobile app as well as promote increased awareness of those capabilities as the interest is there,” said Monica Sanchez, GBTA Foundation Director of Research. “In the future, hotels could invest in innovative new technologies, but should also continue to focus on improving existing amenities, especially Wi-Fi as that remains most important for business travellers.”

Business travellers are interested in using a variety of technology amenities that most hotels do not currently offer. The most commonly indicated amenities are more regular outlets and USB outlets (34%), offering streaming services (34%) and in-room chargers for laptops and/or phones (32%). Millennials most commonly chose streaming services as a preferred amenity they would be interested in while medium- and high-frequency business travellers most commonly chose maintaining “guest profiles” to deliver a personalised stay.

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