INTERNATIONAL REPORT—Generator has launched a new app to bring its guests together, even before they arrive on property, while other companies have launched their own technology or partnered in the sector.
Generator Debuts New Mobile App
Generator has launched GenFriends, a new mobile app. The app will offer features including exclusive deals and discounts on accommodation and F&B across all 14 Generator properties, room access capabilities, as well as a new social networking platform for like-minded guests to connect with while staying at Generator properties.
The app will meet the specific needs of both the solo traveler and group travelers, according to the company. GenFriends can act as a convenient bookings app to help guests seamlessly plan their travels, as well as a global social network for those looking to discover a new city with fellow globetrotters. Since 2015, Generator saw a 17% increase in solo travelers across its properties, with its Berlin Mitte property reporting a 35% rise. In the past year, more than half of reservations were made by solo travelers at destinations such as Venice, Stockholm, Paris and London.
Similar to other location-based mobile social apps, GenFriends offers a swipe feature to match with like-minded solo travelers. Guests traveling with friends or partners will also be able to match with groups of travelers with similar cultural interests or travel itineraries to explore the best a city has to offer. In addition, those looking to fully immerse themselves with the local culture will also be able to match with local residents, who can provide recommendations, offer personal tours and more.
In addition to the social networking feature, guests will be able to browse exclusive deals, flash discounts and activities, like special tours unique to each property hosted by Generator. By booking directly within GenFriends, travelers can take advantage of the best rates available at all Generator properties. By presenting the GenFriends app, guests can also receive 10% discounts at all on-property F&B outlets.
Additional features in the future will include a mobile key, with which guests can access their rooms through their mobile device, access to music playlists in public spaces at each property, digital schedules for any on-property programming and events, and an in-app payment system.
Instaroom Launches Artificial Intelligence FAQ Bot
Instaroom, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered messaging platform built for managing complex customer journeys, transactions and bookings for hoteliers, has launched its new artificial intelligence FAQ Bot, designed to intuitively answer commonly asked customer questions and reduce hotel management costs.
The new FAQ Bot, which now comes with premium subscriptions, can be integrated into a hotel’s homepage and reduces incoming inquiries by up to 40%, consequently decreasing inbound phone calls and emails. Instaroom is also now offering hoteliers white-label bots to specifically fit a property—automating everything from bookings and in-house inquiries—like room service and concierge—to fully customizable integrations and personalizations.
Instaroom has been testing its new AI FAQ bots at various hotels throughout the world, including Desa Visesa Ubud in Bali, the Delfins Beach Resort in Dutch Caribbean Island Bonaire, and the Hotel Palace Berlin.
Instaroom has also opened a new office in the central business district of Singapore. The new office will serve as the headquarters for sales and marketing in Asia Pacific.
AmericanTowns Media Launches LEXETravel
AmericanTowns Media, provider of local content solutions, has launched LEXETravel—a plug‐and‐play resource designed to create a comprehensive, yet dynamic local experience guides for travelers and those who serve them.
LEXETravel offers a single point from which to search for leading restaurants, trendy coffee spots, popular shows, local events or a multiple of general interest categories– anywhere in the U.S.—without ever leaving the host brand’s website.
While LEXETravel delivers activity planning functionality for travelers and guests, it also provides a simple platform for host companies to learn about customer interests and behaviors, building increased opportunities to become more relevant to them, according to the company. Additionally, it operates on an open platform, which offers infinite customization and implementation options to fit existing systems seamlessly.
Auro Hotels Partners with ProfitSword
Auro Hotels has implemented ProfitSword’s ProfitSage operational and financial reporting solution.
Originally utilizing its own in-house business intelligence platform, Auro Hotels selected ProfitSage in order to implement a more robust and systematic forecasting strategy that could adapt to the company’s ongoing growth and increasing complexity, while also maximizing operational efficiency and increasing the potential for additional revenue.
When using ProfitSage, hoteliers at each property will be able to instantly forecast metrics, such as monthly bottom lines, daily labor expenses and accounts payable. With such information automatically uploaded into the ProfitSword user interface in real time and also made available via pre-scheduled reports, Auro Hotels can further ensure that both local hotel and corporate leadership have the necessary data to make informed, yet timely decisions, the company reports.
NH Hotel Group Joins TravelClick’s Demand360 Network
NH Hotel Group has joined TravelClick’s Demand360 program, a Hotelligence360 solution.
The Demand360 program gives hoteliers access to forward-looking demand data and allows hoteliers to develop optimal strategies for maximizing revenue, the company reports.
With the addition of NH Hotel Group, more than 25,000 properties around the world now participate in Demand360, the hospitality industry’s competitive market intelligence product providing forward-looking reservation metrics and competitive share by segment and channel.
Tencent & Shangri-La Group Partner
Tencent and Shangri-La Group have signed a strategic partnership focused on developing and deploying smart hotel solutions to power the transformation of hotel operations and services for Shangri-La, and will expand to more future collaborations across various businesses within the Shangri-La Group worldwide.
By leveraging Tencent’s strength in technology and connectivity, and by incorporating Shangri-La’s hotel experience and business resources, the partnership will help drive technology innovation and business transformation of traditional industry models and enhance service quality and guest experience for hotel operators, according to the companies.
The Tencent and Shangri-La partnership is an example of collaboration between the traditional hotel industry and the internet and technology sector. Tencent’s technology in Cloud computing, AI, social communications and payment platforms will help support Shangri-La’s business transformation of its services and operations. With smart hotel solutions, Shangri-La will be able to deliver greater convenience and personalized experience for its customers, according to the companies. At the same time, Tencent will be able to leverage Shangri-La as a testbed to continuously enhance and promote its Smart Hotel technologies.
In addition, Tencent and Shangri-La plan to bring the strategic partnership to cover a wider scope and scale in the future. Shangri-La will utilize its worldwide hotel network and business resources to support Tencent in promoting its technology to the world. The two companies will also explore the application of digital solutions and smart technologies beyond hotels to include Shangri-La’s real estate business in shopping malls, service apartments, office buildings, as well as in more than 500 hotel restaurants and other catering business.