11 Ways Your Hotel Experience Could Change Because of Mobile Technology

The future of the world traveler and hotelier

By Frank I. Wolfe CEO, Hospitality Financial & Technology Professionals | January 08, 2012

In such a short amount of time, mobile technology has changed the way that the world does just about everything. There's no doubt about it; smart mobile devices are dictating how we live our lives. With these mobile devices in our hands, and media and information up in The Cloud, there are limitless possibilities for access.

This is a game-changing development for the hospitality industry.

It is opening a variety of delivery mechanisms for personal guest services that are affordable, efficient and easy to use. Not only is it now easier to travel the world, it is also easier for hotels to operate and could change how guests interact with a hotel.

World traveling made easy thanks to my mobile devices

As CEO of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), a global professional association, I have first-hand experience as a world traveler. In fact, in the last six months, I have traveled to countries that speak Mandarin, German, French and Spanish. For the record, I only speak English with a smidgen of Spanish.

During these trips, I have used my mobile devices to communicate very effectively with taxi drivers, front desk personnel, housekeepers, concierge and food service staff using my translator on my mobile device.
I watched movies and television programs in English, read my local newspaper online, had the opportunity (through a hotel's French Facebook page) to join an "after work group" and even made dinner reservations in Chinese. In one country, my French speaking taxi driver got lost, and much to her relief, I had both a map "app" and the translator so we made it to the airport in plenty of time for my flight.

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Coming up in February 2019...

Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.