InterContinental Hotels Group is upgrading its mobile and in-hotel technology and in the process of rolling it out companywide. This comes less than two months after announcing its partnership with Amadeus to develop a cloud-based reservation system. IHG's digital initiatives draw on a mixture of mobile-driven and in-hotel technologies, allowing IHG to own the stay experience and add value across other areas of the guest journey through consumer-focused propositions.
"We continuously gather insights from consumers, which enables us to research, develop, pilot and launch new ways of engaging with guests across their guest journey,” said Michael Menis, senior vice president digital and voice channels, IHG. “The initiatives we are showcasing today are really exciting because they reinforce how our digital capabilities add value beyond the booking opportunity. They are an illustration of how we evolve our content strategy to stay connected with guests and develop more meaningful relationships with them."
IHG is debuting mobile check-in and check-out as part of this plan. Not only will guests be able to confirm their arrival time via their device, they can also receive an SMS notification of when their room is ready. U.S. based IHG Rewards Club elite members will have exclusive access to the service first and then it will become available to everyone stateside with worldwide roll-out coming last. In addition to this service, guest’s folios will be available on their devices as well as through the IHG app.
Currently in the testing phase is the mobile key technology that will allow guests to bypass the front desk altogether. Also in the trial stage is its IHG Guest Request service. This service, also accessed through the mobile app, allows guests to immediately request anything the need from the staff. The issue is also tracked and reported upon so that staff knows the current status is and who is responding.
IHG is using iBeacon technology, placed in the lobbies and restaurants of its hotels, to recognize IHG Rewards Club members using the IHG App in close proximity. They then send information to the guest's smartphone, including personalized notifications and offers relevant to their stay. The pilot is being implemented in a selection of hotels in China.