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Five 2017 Concierge Apps Streamlining The Hotel Industry

Traveling made that little bit more simple

13Jun

With the age of the experience economy upon us, for the concierge industry it means altering services to suit a more experience hungry, tech-dependent user. Whereas before welcoming a guest on arrival and providing in-person recommendations was enough, for most guests that can now seem rather old-fashioned - and old-fashioned, unless you do it extremely well, is a dangerous place to be. Below are five apps currently being adopted by travelers, hotels, and concierges to improve the experience of traveling and to streamline the discovery and booking process.

Handy

The message:

What it does:

Handy offers guests the ability to use a Handy handset for the whole of their stay, giving them access to free international phone calls, free internet access, detailed area guides, concierge services and informative blog posts with expert recommendations. For hotels, they have the ability to create call-to-action features and offer specific promotions within the app, receive analytical information from their users and gain seamless interaction with PMS networks. Technically more of a complete handset than an app, but with an interface similar to one.

Who’s using it:

A lot of big players, largely within their Asia markets. Current partners include Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Millenium Hotels and Resorts, W Hotels and Marriot.

Hello Scout

The message:

What it does:

Travel start-up Hello Scout have taken the effort of concierge work away from the hotel and onto a user network, offering locally curated recommendations from people in the know. Their trained travel experts are available via text message take the burden off the front desk — and at no cost to the hotel due to Hello Scout’s revenue coming from the booking fees themselves. Guests can use the messaging system for anything, from booking activities to finding a nearby coffee shop. Available on Apple. Currently only available in the US.

Who’s using it:

They’ve just signed a partnership with chain Provenance Hotels, as well as serving some pretty prestigious San Francisco hotels including The Galleria Park, Hotel Zetta and the Presidio.

Lola

The message:

What it does:

Another chat-based app, Lola instantly connects people to a team of travel agents who are able to find and book flights, hotels, and cars, as well as providing support whilst people are actually on their trips. The app is free for hotel reservations, but there is a $25 planning fee for flights. Currently, you can only download it for Apple phones, but there is an Android version in the works. Only available in the US.

Who’s using it:

They are currently a member of luxury retail travel group Virtuoso, with intentions to open up to other partners, hotel groups and travel agencies in the pipeline.

Pearlshare

The message:

What it does:

Pearlshare began life as a social network rather than a business app, however, in recent months has been adopted by several independent boutique hotels as a way to provide instant personalized map based travel guides to their guests. The basic interface allows concierges to build ‘curated area guides’ which they can send via a simple link or message so they can be instantly used by guests. They have also moved into providing embedded maps and area guides for hotel websites, which can also be downloaded for use on the go, improving the hotel's area offering and instantly connection them to an experience economy. Available on Apple and on desktop, operating worldwide but largely in the UK.

Who’s using it:

Choice Hotels have recently used Pearlshare as the system for their Travel Top 6 network, and boutique hotels and apart-hotels such as Living Rooms have also adopted the guide system and customized embeds for their homepage.

Find out more here.

Journy

The message:

What it does:

Through a brief user survey, Journy gets to know individual budgets and priorities then create a truly personalized itinerary using local knowledge and trusted concierges. Users can then work with their concierge via email or chat, with the option to alter or change plans according to your needs. The app then allows users to see a draft of their proposed daily travel plan, review hotel, restaurant, and activity options and book future activities and restaurants. Users also receive reservation reminders, and can easily pull up maps & directions. Available for 60+ destinations around the world for Apple users, for $25 per day of travel.

Who’s using it:

Individual consumers rather than hotel chains currently, though it won’t be long before companies will want to get in on the action.

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