December 4th, 2012 | Jena Tesse Fox

Year in Review — Virtual Concierges

4 Dec, 2012 By: Jena Tesse Fox

Last week, Conrad Hotels announced that the brand as a whole would be launching a concierge program that lets travelers customize their accommodations through a mobile device across the more than 20 Conrad hotels and resorts.

And now this week, the Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh is launching a new virtual concierge service for business travelers, giving them the chance to customize their stay prior to their arrival by requesting special amenities and services such as floral arrangements, honeymoon amenities, spa treatment, dining reservations, transportation and many other numerous services. Guest itineraries will be sent to the guest once all requests have been confirmed; along with presenting an itinerary during the check-in process.

If there is any notable hotel technology trend of 2012, the "virtual concierge" may well be it. While the service is hardly new, it has come into its own this year, and with remarkable speed. In September, Aloft launched a similar platform via Intelity. (The previous January, it was still testing the program, offering an idea of how quickly the technology is taking hold.) Advertisers are getting on the action as well, much in the way a favored business would have a reciprocal arrangement with a human concierge: KniTec has adopted the Pro:Centric applications platform developed by LG Electronics to deliver the AdRev Solution to hotel properties with compatible LG TVs so guests can gain access to on-screen advertising information on hotel amenities and local businesses, which generates additional revenue for the hotel. 

LG’s Pro:Centric platform acts as a digital concierge by communicating information to guests using customizable digital “billboards” accessed through the guest room television. A portion of the billboards are reserved for promoting in-house amenities such as spa, golf and dining services, while the remaining are used as a medium to advertise local businesses such as restaurants, shops and entertainment activities. In-house service sales can increase as guests are exposed to these billboards every time they turn on their TV.

But if concierges become virtual, what will happen to human concierges? No machine can ever truly take the place of a highly skilled professional--but as hotels go more high-tech, we may see more and more computer programs that seek to do just that. What will human hotel employees do to remain relevant in a digital world? Sound off in the comments below. 


Topic : Technology, Digital Concierge, Virtual Concierge
External Source : Breaking Travel News

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