Technology Pulse: A roundup of digital news
Technology Pulse: A roundup of digital news
03 MAY 2017 1:47 PM

This month’s roundup of news from the technology sector includes growing hotel app functionality; Hyatt’s new in-room streaming; and more.

Hotel News Now’s Tech Impact Report each month features a news roundup from the hotel technology sector. Subscribe to the free monthly report here

App functionality growing across hotel industry
Hotel companies recognize that putting the power to do everything from ordering food to accessing a guide of local attractions is appealing to guests, and The New York Times reports hotel companies are spending on tech to “seek new ways to meet the needs of guests, gain repeat customers, differentiate their brands, and ultimately, increase revenue.”

The report claims hotel companies spend as much as 6% of revenues on tech and 57% of hotels plan to spend more in 2017 than they did in 2016.

Facebook increasing Messenger bot exposure, functionality
TechCrunch reports that Facebook is looking to increase both the usefulness and usage rate of its much discussed Messenger chat bots, and their next big step with that will be integrating their use into group chats. That will, among other things, allow potential guests to discuss travel plans at once and search options or actually book flights and stays via third party apps.

Adoption of the bots has been relatively slow among hotel brands, although Hyatt has been aggressive in making customer service staff available via Messenger. 

Desktop still the destination for conversions
New Phocuswright data shows travelers’ usage of mobile is still meaningful and growing, but desktop is the preferred platform, writes Hotel News Now’s Danielle Hess. This is particularly true with older travelers.

“Boomers and older travelers still represent the largest piece of dollar spend within travel and spend a lot higher,” Phocuswright VP of Research Douglas Quinby said, which could attribute to the success of desktop traffic.

Hyatt outlines goals of in-room streaming push
Hyatt officials recently announced plans to roll out a new in-room streaming platform, built around Google Chromecast, that will integrate with the company’s World of Hyatt smartphone app and will alleviate guests’ need to log in and out of individual streaming platforms at the start and end of their stay, writes Hotel News Now’s Sean McCracken.

Jeff Bzdawka, Hyatt’s SVP of global hotel technology, said in-room streaming is increasingly becoming a necessity in the hotel industry.

“Streaming to a TV screen at home has become a very common experience,” hHe said. “Sixty percent of homes have streaming subscriptions. Guests want to view their favorite content on a big screen at home as well as on the road. It also gets us out of being a curator of content. This allows them to stream whatever content they brand, and it’s really providing flexibility.”

Compiled by Sean McCracken.

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