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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts targets affluent travelers with mobile app

Luxury hotel chain Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is using mobile to provide affluent travelers an added convenience during the travel process.

The iPhone application lets travelers view hotel information, special packages and destination recommendations. Consumers can also view room descriptions and restaurant details.

“We strive to provide our guests with comprehensive information about our properties and the destinations around them,” said Michael Innocentin, director of Internet marketing at Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Toronto. “We are not attempting to compete with or replace traditional review sites, but provide a unique platform for guest stories, local recommendations and booking capabilities.

“Fairmont has offered destination guides via for many years, and making these available on mobile devices is simply an added convenience we wanted to provide for our guests to complement other resources they are using,” he said. “Mobile Web consumption represents a small percentage of overall Web consumption but it is growing rapidly as consumers adopt phones with more sophisticated Web capabilities.

“Affluent consumers were the earliest adopters of iPhones and other high-end Web-enabled mobile devices. As prices on devices drop they are becoming more popular among a wider audience.”

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a global hospitality brand and is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with 95 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel brands.

Usablenet is powering the application.

Mobile reservations
Consumers can modify and cancel reservations anytime via the new application for Apple’s iPhone.

In addition, customers can search for packages by theme, including categories such as Celebration, Culture, Discovery, Family, Food & Wine and Gold.

Fairmont is targeting affluent travelers and frequent bookers such as business travelers via the application.

Here is a screen grab of the application:

“We are exploring other platforms,” Mr. Innocentin said. “Mobile Web consumption has been largely dominated by users on Apple devices such as the iPhone and iPod Touch, but the landscape is changing quickly with the proliferation of Android powered handsets and new BlackBerry devices.

“We are looking at adapting our app for these platforms in the near future,” he said.

Full access
Consumers can also view the 10 best destination guides, which directs them to the best food, activities and shopping around the area that they are staying in.

Here is another screen grab of the application:

Additionally, customers can add posts and photos for others to see.

Fairmont customers who are members of the Fairmont President’s Club can access their full account and view stay history, future reservations or update their personal profile.

“We have had a mobile-optimized Web presence for the past few years and we looked at the statistics for that site prior to developing the iPhone application,” Mr. Innocentin said. “Some travelers do book through their mobile devices.

“Frequent travelers can have hectic schedules and require last minute changes to their plans,” he said. “Mobile booking capabilities allow them to make these arrangements while on the go.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats, editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York