Hospitality Brands Build Back With Customer-Centric Tech

Hoteliers are searching for new ways to engage with guests and maintain bookings.

COVID-19 has decimated the optimistic 2020 outlook predicted for the hospitality sector.

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Marriott Bonvoy has designed Day Pass, Stay Pass and Play Pass packages for harried consumers who would like a quiet change of pace from their usual work at home arrangement. Image courtesy of Marriott
Marriott Bonvoy has designed Day Pass, Stay Pass and Play Pass packages for harried consumers who would like a quiet change of pace from their usual work at home arrangement. Image courtesy of Marriott

“Tens of thousands of hotel employees will lose their jobs, and small-business industries that depend on these hotels to drive local tourism and economic activity will likely face a similar fate,” says Chip Rogers, CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association.

So while the sector awaits another COVID-19 stimulus bill, creativity is in high demand because hotel brands that continue to engage guests in unexpected ways with new and relevant services—even when they are staying at home—will emerge from the pandemic stronger.

Hyatt Hotels Corp. is rolling out enhanced digital amenities through the World of Hyatt app that will give guests more control over how they connect with Hyatt.

Trepp CMBS Research for November 2020 details delinquency status. Image courtesy Trepp
Trepp CMBS Research for November 2020 details delinquency status. Image courtesy Trepp

“The new features, available in select markets introduced on an ongoing basis, will allow guests to manage preferences like choosing between pick-up or knock-and-go food orders, digital key entry, contactless check-in and checkout, scheduling housekeeping and more,” says Julia Vander Ploeg, senior vice president & global head of digital at Hyatt.

For meetings and events, Hyatt hotels are exploring audio-visual technology that will help offer customers hybrid meeting options—on-property and remotely—for large-scale events with social distancing in mind.

Likewise, Marriott’s Bonvoy Mobile app enables guests to use their smartphone to check in and check out—and chat with hotel staff. By the middle of 2021, Marriott will complete the rollout of the Mobile Key enabling guests to use their smartphone as their room key, which means guests can skip the front desk entirely.

Trepp CMBS Research for November 2020 details delinquency rate by property type. Image courtesy Trepp
Trepp CMBS Research for November 2020 details delinquency rate by property type. Image courtesy Trepp

“With flexible booking options, we are inviting guests to reimagine our hotel rooms as local remote workspaces,” says Stephanie Linnartz, group president of consumer operations, technology and emerging businesses at Marriott International. “Marriott Bonvoy’s new Day Pass, Stay Pass and Play Pass packages mean that working remotely doesn’t necessarily have to mean working from home.”

“During this uncertain era in the hospitality industry, hoteliers are searching for new ways to engage with guests and maintain bookings,” says Stéphanie Versin, senior vice president of marketing at Sightline Hospitality. “An industry that once promoted communal spaces and shared experiences is now quickly adapting and changing course to near-contactless stays.”


Sector Insights rotates among office/medical office, industrial, retail, multifamily, self storage and hotel/hospitality.

Read the December 2020 issue of CPE.