Your favorite hotel may start keeping tabs on you during and after your stay—but that’s a good thing, according Google alum Ben Habbel's startup Voyat.
With $1.8 million in funding from the likes of Brett Crosby, cofounder of Google Analytics, and VC firm Metamorphic Ventures, Voyat recently launched with the aim of giving hotels the tools to analyze customer behavior and create targeted loyalty rewards. Through Voyat’s platform, guests are asked to sign in to the hotel’s Wi-Fi using their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or email accounts.
Voyat then creates a running profile of guests, tracking their social activity, what they're buying, and other metrics to gauge the best personalized perks the hotel can offer. The idea is to boost customer retention and to eliminate the need for third-party sites like Expedia or Orbitz by encouraging direct booking on the hotel's site.
Creeped out? By clicking Voyat’s "Invisible" button when you sign in to the hotel’s Wi-Fi, you can opt out of being tracked. But even if you choose to use Voyat’s services, you can't customize your own profile—so, essentially, hotels are creating rewards strategies just for you, based on what you tweet or post on Facebook, not on what you actually say you might want.
But hey, rewards are rewards, right? Right?
[Image: Flickr user Chiara Cremaschi]