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Revolutionizing Guest Journeys: The Power of In-App Experiences

Having direct influence on the guest experience and maintaining engagement within your proprietary digital experience is crucial in the hotel industry. As Fueled explored in…

Having direct influence on the guest experience and maintaining engagement within your proprietary digital experience is crucial in the hotel industry. As Fueled explored in the article “How Mobile Apps are Transforming Hospitality in 2024”, mobile apps can aid hotels in retaining guest loyalty, boosting revenue, and more. The challenge many hotels face however, is in retaining guest interest and activity throughout the duration of their stay.  

The stakes are high when guests divert their attention to alternatives like Google, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), and other digital platforms, leading to numerous disadvantages for hotels. Guest detachment from a hotel’s digital offerings can have a direct negative impact on their stay.

The Risk of External Platforms

Losing guests to third-party platforms leads to a diluted brand experience. Guests using third-party services may have a fragmented experience that lacks the cohesive branding and seamless integration offered by the hotel's proprietary technology. 

This can weaken the overall brand image and reduce the impact of the hotel's marketing efforts. Consistency in branding is extremely important: a study conducted by Forbes found that consistent branding presentation increased revenue by up to 23%.

Furthermore, external services often take a portion of the revenue for bookings or services facilitated through their platforms. When guests book hotel restaurants, spas, or other amenities through third-party apps, the hotel not only loses direct revenue but also pays commission fees to these platforms, affecting profitability. OTAs and external platforms can charge commissions as high as 15-30% on services provided, which has substantial implications for hotel revenue.

Keep Guests Engaged

Capturing a guest's interest is especially important during their stay. Google found that approximately 85% of leisure travelers decide on activities only after having arrived at their destination — smartphone searches increase by about 30% at hotels according to Google’s data. Furthermore, search queries for “places to eat near me” more than doubled year over year during the time of this research. 

A collection of stats on guest preferences in regard to hotel reccomendations

The significant rise in smartphone searches for local recommendations and activities upon arrival highlights the need for hotels to provide easily accessible, mobile-friendly information. 

Unlock Experiences

One of the most effective ways to capture guests' interest during their stay is by providing them with personalized, targeted local “experiences”. By having an all-encompassing digital presence, hotels can utilize guest data to personalize recommendations and capture guest interest.

MGM Resorts International, the parent company of hotels like MGM, Bellagio, and Aria, implemented a similar feature in their digital transformation. After guests check in within their app, they have access to a contextual, personalized home screen. The app provides guests with entertainment and dining suggestions powered by a range of data points, including their current location and existing itinerary. Reservations can be made in-app, skipping phone calls and long box office lines. The results of implementing this feature alongside the rest of their digital transformation were a 3-4% increase in guest ADR. 

An upscale hotel lobby with a phone screen overlaid showing suggestions for local activities

Direct competition to the hotel industry has already successfully implemented features similar to the ones described here. Airbnb’s “Experiences” provides users the option to book local experiences within the Airbnb app. Guests can book food tours, expeditions, and more all with Airbnb receiving direct revenue on bookings. According to Airbnb’s official data, hundreds of thousands of these “Experiences” are booked every year. 

Elevate the Guest Experience

Capturing and retaining guest interest through personalized experiences is not just a strategy to boost revenue, it's a means to improve the entire guest experience. By offering unique, tailored "experiences" within the hotel's digital platform, guests can craft a more immersive and memorable stay. 

One of the key benefits of the "experiences" feature is the ability to offer personalized local recommendations. Hotels can leverage their local knowledge to suggest hidden gems and unique activities that guests might not find through other sources. 

This could include exclusive tours, local culinary experiences, or special events that provide a deeper connection to the destination. By presenting these options through the hotel's app, guests are more likely to engage with the hotel's offerings and appreciate the convenience of having tailored suggestions.

An upscale hotel lobby with a phone screen overlaid showing local restaurant suggestions

Another advantage of the "experiences" feature is the ability to provide real-time updates to guests. Changes in activity schedules, weather-related adjustments, or new opportunities can be communicated instantly. This ensures that guests are always informed and can make the most of their stay. This flexibility and responsiveness are crucial for maintaining guest satisfaction and adapting to their evolving needs during their stay.

Interested in how Fueled can transform your hotel's digital experience?





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