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Posts Tagged ‘smartphone’

The High Cost of High Tech

In General on April 12, 2014 at 11:40

And even higher cost of underwhelming your guests with dated technology.

Checking into a hotel, the staff on the desk informed me that the minibar was “pressure-sensitive,” so if you took something out and then put it back, you’d still be charged. I couldn’t help but wonder why the minibar was smart enough to know when I had taken a beer, but not clever enough to forgive me after my moment of weakness.. I nodded in acknowledgment, thanked him politely and then shuffled off to my room, pondering the changes in technology and human behaviour, and how they affect the bottom line. Read the rest of this entry »


Why Mobile Users Lose Out When Travelling

In General on February 10, 2011 at 22:04

Data RoamingAs an avid smartphone user (ok, geek), i look forward to using my favourite gadget while travelling. So much is available to the traveller, and so many apps have been created to ensure users have a great time while travelling: browsers allow you to go online and search for information as needed, and apps have functionality that is nothing short of magical. Many articles give the Top 10 Apps for Tourists, Best Apps for Business Travellers, highlighting everything from the prosaic — city guides, restaurant and hotel reviews — to the downright magical Read the rest of this entry »

Mobile Websites: What are the Hotel Big Boys Doing?

In General on October 21, 2010 at 22:42

Mobile WebsitesI’ve been working on mobile sites for some clients just recently, and this has been informative, if slightly depressing! In a previous post i talked about how little distinction there is between hotel sub-brands. If you look at the mobile space, there’s very little distinction between the main brands themselves. Follow me while i take a look. Read the rest of this entry »

Mobile Email — are 20% of your users getting it?

In General on August 3, 2010 at 19:16

Are you testing your newsletters on mobile?Posted today on the Keen blog about the huge number of people using their mobile phones to read email newsletters. It’s crucial that your email newsletters are formatted so that they are readable on mobile devices, because on a hotel company’s list of over 60,000 users i looked at, over 20% were reading on their iPhones — only Hotmail was more popular, and Outlook was a distant third. Make sure you’re not missing out on this opportunity, and test your email newsletters on mobile devices whenever possible!

Anthony Green – August 2010

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Mobile and iPhone development for hospitality

In General on April 12, 2010 at 11:21

Everyone loves their smartphone, whether it’s a BlackBerry, iPhone or Android. The size of the market (172 million smartphones sold in 2009), the amount of time people spend on these things, as well as the realisation that mobile internet is a new battleground for (often wealthy) customers, has inevitably lead to clients asking about mobile development — should they do it, how to do it, how much would it cost.

Developing for mobile devices at the moment means 3 things.

The glamour approach is iPhone app development. iPhone users are passionate about their apps, and even those who don’t own an iPhone have been bowled over by the magic of seeing a really cool iPhone app. The reality is that this is really quite an expensive undertaking, which is why we’ve only really seen the chains and OTAs doing it at the moment. Accor, Hilton, Starwood and others all have apps, but even these are really flag-waving, positioning statements, with chains touting the number of times the app has been downloaded rather than the number of bookings that have been made. The problem is not the technology (although having an integrated booking engine is a prerequisite), it’s the simple fact that only the most dedicated road warrior — think George Clooney in Up in the Air — would stick so religiously to a brand that they keep the app on their phone.

If iPhone/BlackBerry/Android app development is out of reach for standalone properties and small chains, what are more practical options? Well, secondly, there is the mobile web. These days, smartphones have great browsers, sometimes better and more modern than the browser on their main computer (this is particularly the case in corporate environments, as those of you still suffering with IE6 can testify). Hospitality sites produced using web standards will display fine on smartphones — shameless plug — check out and to see modern sites in your mobile browser. All of you should encourage your web developers or ecommerce team to follow web standards so that sites display well on all platforms.

Thirdly, you can develop special low-graphics versions of your website for smartphones. This shouldn’t involve too much extra work if you’re using web standards with CSS based code, or a modern MVC framework — a different ‘skin’ can be out on the site for mobile devices, making it much easier to access the information on your site.

However, most hospitality clients are not selling rooms as commodities, they are more interested in selling the USPs and the brand promise, so a low-graphics approach may not work well, and could be a waste of focus. One situation where a low-graphics version of the site can be worthwhile, is for those of you who have an integrated booking engine — having the ability to check rates and availability from the smartphone will be a plus for many people.

One thing’s for sure, the mobile space is getting more and more important, and as a marketer or revenue manager, it’s important to keep up with trends and look for opportunities in this area.

First posted at Keen

Anthony Green – April 2010

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