Trends Update

Hospitality trends: Using Smartphone to power a mobile change

Staying in a hotel should be a hassle-free experience, but on occasion electronic hotel keys can turn a simple stay into a frustrating one. If you’ve ever tried and failed to swipe your way into your room, unprogrammed an electronic key by storing it too close to your smartphone or dealt with frustrated guests who have done just that, you’ll know that the system isn’t always as frictionless as it should be. The Hilton Group could be about to change all that by following current digital marketing trends.

The hotel giant, which boasts hotels all over the world, has announced that it is introducing new Bluetooth systems which let guests unlock their room doors with their smartphones. Now fully implemented in around 1700 hotels across the US and Canada, the company is making the most of mobile marketing strategies by bringing the electronic door key to the UK for its next port of call. On track to get 100 of its UK hotels on board by the end of 2017, this will overhaul the way the chain works forever.

The technology, which is focused on ensuring guests are able to enjoy their experience from the moment they check in until the moment they leave the hotel, provides better customer service than ever before by ensuring guests can get what they want, when they want it.

Mobile Bookings

The Hilton app, which is free to download, allows hotel guests to select their preferred room using digital check-in, while offering them the option of a digital key to use for a range of purposes for the duration of their stay. Once the room is ready for example, the app sends the guest a notification, activates the key, and guarantees they can come and go as they please – without the need for queuing up at reception desks.

Set to eliminate an element which is often out of their control, these keys replace the tricky keyless door system with something that is personal to the guest. This implementation will ensure the group, which has a reputation for quality and attention to detail, is able to further establish itself as one of the leading hotel chains in the world.

Smart locks are not a new invention. Gaining momentum over the last couple of years, they are used in everyday life, from front doors to garden gates, and even bike locks. However this announcement by Hilton suggests that smart locks will become even more common in daily life – and of course remove the common problem of key cards malfunctioning.

Th smartphone door key is currently only available to their ‘Honors’ members who download the smartphone app. However the firm says it has been used by 11m users so far, and hasn’t experienced a single breech. So should the technology prove successful as it filters through the chain, it will almost certainly be rolled out to all its customers.