‘VirtualHotel™ for Groups’ App Ties to Hotels’ Loyalty Programs to Encourage Repeat Bookings

May 27, 2015

VirtualHotel™ now enables hotel groups and marketing alliances to showcase and promote their entire portfolios in a single app; Loyalty club members are more likely to keep app and use it to book direct repeat visits; Get your VirtualHotel group app at HITEC in Booth 123

[ATLANTA – MAY 27, 2015] – According to the 2015 Lodging Technology Study, hotels are choosing customer-facing mobile solutions as their top IT priority this year, with loyalty programs and tablets at the front desk cited as two key components. Next month at HITEC, VirtualHotel™, will unveil a new mobile application for multi-property/multi-brand portfolios that integrates with a hotel group’s existing loyalty program. VirtualHotel for Groups is designed to showcase and promote the entire multi-property portfolio in a single app, and it enables groups to encourage loyalty member engagement. Hotel enterprises can leverage the VirtualHotel for Groups app to attract new loyalty club members and provide incentives for existing members to keep the app on their phones, thereby increasing repeat business and revenues.

“One of the key concerns we hear from hoteliers is that guests will simply delete their app after they have checked out,” said Ed Vause, VirtualHotel business development director. “By giving the customer more value in the app, including the option of keeping track of their rewards and paying for hotel products and services with loyalty points, guests are more likely to retain the app on their mobile device and make repeat reservations directly with the hotel.”

VirtualHotel for Groups is multi-lingual (all world languages) and fully customizable to reflect a company’s brand standards. Guests simply Sign in or Sign up for the hotel group’s loyalty program. Personalization features allow for guest profiling and quick and easy booking.

The 2014 Customer Engagement Technology Study found that more than half of all hotel mobile apps “lack the ability to make a reservation directly via the app.” The study reported that “hotels moved quickly to get a mobile app into the market, but at the cost of functionality; and they have yet to go back and fold those mobile rollouts into a fully-developed digital strategy.”

“VirtualHotel (available for iOS and Android) delivers a fully-developed digital strategy,” Vause said. “It encourages loyal customers to book directly with the hotel and it enables hoteliers to push promotions, such as seasonal offers and discounts, across the entire group’s customer base. This tool is great for showcasing the enterprise as a whole, while our flagship VirtualHotel product augments the guest experience during the stay. It’s a platform for in-room shopping . . . a way to promote partner services with local business . . . and a tool that drives incremental revenue for each hotel.”

Enterprise Marketing

VirtualHotel for Groups — aimed at brand advocates and returning guests — introduces marketing efficiency for hotels and ease of use for the guest. There is only one app to promote; one app works for all group properties and across all channels. Once a traveller downloads the app, he or she can select a hotel by “Region” (country, state or city), “Experience” (beach, city, dining, golf, romantic, spa, historic, etc.), or the user can simply request accommodations located “Near Me.” Because nearly 70 percent of mobile reservations are made for the same or next day, the Hotels Near Me feature will help capture potentially lost bookings. The app is fully customizable, enabling each property or brand to promote experiences that are applicable to the region and to the demographics of its loyalty customers.

Once the user selects a property, they are linked to a mobile brochure page. Every hotel in the group will have its own brochure page with photo gallery and location map. Users have the option to 1) book directly with the hotel from the app (reducing reliance on OTAs), 2) link to the hotel’s website, or 3) click to call the hotel or the reservations call center (phone reservations are often overlooked by technology companies).

VirtualHotel for Groups integrates seamlessly with the company’s flagship VirtualHotel product so that guests can find local information and order services directly from their mobile device.

VirtualHotel features:

  • Direct reservations
  • Pre-arrival and post-departure sales
  • Loyalty program integration
  • Push promotions
  • Mobile check-in and check-out
  • Call now functionality
  • Location maps and route finding
  • Social media sharing links
  • Room service
  • Spa and restaurant reservations
  • Mobile concierge
  • Multi-lingual interaction

VirtualHotel for Groups will be on display June 15 to 18 at the Austin (Texas) Convention Center. The app is being made available with no setup charges to group hoteliers who express interest at the HITEC show. This unprecedented offer is valued at $20,000.

For more information on VirtualHotel, visit http://www.virtualhotel.com or call Ed Vause at 877-365-2322 to pre-schedule an appointment at HITEC.

About Virtual Hotel Group

VirtualHotel™, formerly Cardola Inc., is designed by hoteliers for hoteliers. VirtualHotel is a guest-focused, multi-platform technology accessed via mobile devices to extend and enrich a hotel’s existing concierge services, before, during and after a guest’s stay. For more details on the company, visit: www.virtualhotel.com or contact Barb Worcester, PRPRO, at 440-930-5770 or barbw@prproconsulting.com

Contact: Ed Vause

ed@virtualhotel.com / (877) 365-2322

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