It's no surprise 79 percent of travel executives named "mobile" one of this year's greatest opportunities, according to a November 2016 survey from EyeForTravel. From uploading their boarding pass to hailing a cab once they've finally arrived at their destination, business travelers rely on mobile for just about every aspect of their trip, and hospitality is no exception. In order to meet increasing demand for digital connectivity, the hospitality industry recently implemented new mobile options into the hotel experience. Business travelers looking to take advantage of digital connectivity on the road should keep an eye on these three solutions.
Choose a mobile-booking site
With smartphones, travelers can book a hotel stay whenever and wherever they'd like. A May 2016 study from Hotels.com revealed 42 percent of travelers have made a same day hotel booking using their mobile device. Of those respondents, 14 percent booked their hotel in the airport departure lounge. Ubiquitous access to travel-booking sites has equipped consumers with the freedom and confidence to plan trips at their earliest convenience. Finding a mobile-booking site that caters to specific travel needs can help business travelers do the same.
Yet another booking solution that has grown in popularity is online concierge services. An increasing number of business travelers are using concierge services available on smartphones to book excursions or in-house activities at any time of day or night. In fact, Kenneth Ryan, senior director of global spa operations for Marriott International, stated that Marriott has already driven $500,000 in revenue by enabling consumers to use their smartphones to access pre-booking options at just two properties.
Protect your identity
For most business travelers, flashing a physical ID while checking into a hotel or waiting in line for security is a common practice. Identity management apps may soon change that. By allowing customers to store valid forms of identification -- including driver's licenses and passports -- directly on their smartphones, identity-management apps make it easy to prove their identity wherever they go. Rather than digging through a purse or wallet for some form of ID, guests can access any form of ID right from the palm of your hand.
Not only is it more convenient to use an app that stores credentials in one place, it can also provide business travelers with the peace-of-mind that comes from knowing their credentials are safe and secure behind encryption and passcode verifications, especially when traveling in an unfamiliar environment.
Look out for real-time updates
When it comes to improving the guest experience, hotels are turning toward technology more than ever before. Apps now send real-time updates to guests about important details such as when their room is being cleaned or if their taxi has arrived. New robotics developments are also incorporating artificial intelligence into hotels with robotic assistants that deliver room service and other products to guests' rooms.
All of these new innovations are helping to create more personalized experiences that keep business travelers coming back for more. DoubleTree LA-Commerce, for example, uses a web-based messaging tool called Whistle to send offers and solicit feedback from guests before, during, and after their stay. In addition to freeing up the front desk, Whistle enables hotel operators to address any issues a guest may not be willing to verbally share with hotel staff. This type of personalized, quick-response service can help ensure guests are taken care of as soon as possible.
By taking advantage of these mobile offerings, business travelers can save time and stress while on the road.
Cody Winton is CEO and cofounder of Credntia, the world's leading digital identity management platform. An entrepreneur, developer and a social leader in the identity management space, Cody leads the company's business in personal identity management systems and its culture of empowering people to be who they are in the world. To learn more, visit www.credntia.com.