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Hospitality: The App

Hospitality: The App
[Illustrations by Scott Martin]

With mobile check-in the norm and digital room keys on the horizon, here are a few things to consider:

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1. Travelers love apps.

Travel-app usage among U.S. smartphone owners was up 116% from 2011 to 2012.

… But hotels lose money.

No check-in means no upsell–e.g., “Would you like breakfast?”–says Max Rayner, a partner at advisory firm Hudson Crossing.

2. Smartphones are all over.

Three in four leisure travelers are smartphone owners–up from one in two in 2011.

… But they get lost.

A third of all travel-insurance claims are for lost or stolen items, says insurance firm Holidaysafe, most often smartphones.

3. The help is hard to find.

More than 81,000 hotel workers were laid off between 2010 and 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

… But an app ≠ a concierge.

Self-service kiosks installed in the early 2000s “didn’t provide the level of control that guests wanted,” says industry analyst Henry Harteveldt.

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