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Hotels.com introduces new mobile concierge

Online hotel booking company Hotels.com has integrated a “mobile butler” into its application experience which offers a number of features courtesy of partnerships with OpenTable, Uber, delivery.com and Groupon.

Through the Hotels.com Concierge feature, users can easily leverage amenities such as ordering food, booking a ride, finding local activities, and reserving a table at a restaurant. The feature launched yesterday and is powered by Button Marketplace, a firm dedicated to monetization solutions for mobile apps.

““Hotels.com is looking to change the travel landscape by becoming the one-stop hub for a user’s entire travel journey,” said Mike Jaconi, CEO of Button. “Historically, guests have had to use a multitude of sites and apps to piece together their trip—from travel accommodations, to the ride to the airport, and what you’ll actually do while you’re there.

“With the partners available in the Concierge, they’re now able to connect the dots between the on-the-ground aspects of their entire stay.”

Mobile butler
Currently only available on iOS, the Concierge’s array of partnerships that make its services possible comes by way of existing relationships of brands such as Uber and Groupon with the aforementioned Button.

For Hotels.com customers, all available local services will appear in the app on the day their hotel stay begins, leveraging key location data, such as the customer’s hotel address, in an attempt to make the process of enhancing their stay with complementary services seamless and intuitive.

Hotels.com also conducted a poll that provided key statistics on how to best implement its new mobile concierge feature. The brand found that 46 percent of travelers would happily use a mobile concierge service with requests such as restaurant reservations (62 percent), directions (51 percent) and tickets to tourist attractions (48 percent) topping the list of what they would ask for.

The survey also returned the results for a number of droll questions, which include the 25 percent of respondents who wished for a barista to make their morning coffee, the 17 percent who wanted someone to come and do their ironing and the 12 percent who wanted a person to come and read them a bedtime story.

Hospitality sector
Looking to broadcast its presence in the Middle Eastern hospitality market, Hotels.com recently promoting its new and improved Web sites catering to the region by setting a Guinness World Record for the “Fastest Mobile Bed” in Dubai (see story).

And this past Christmas, Grand Hyatt Hotels called on Josh Groban to record an entry for its Hyatt’s Go Grand for the Holidays campaign, which coincided with the release of his new single, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” It began with what Hyatt is calling an “extraordinary caroling experience” at the Grand Hyatt New York, and also rang in the occasion of a donation to Mr. Groban’s Find Your Light Foundation—an arts education initiative—from Hyatt (see story).

“Button’s technology allows Hotels.com to feature the most relevant local options in each category:restaurants, deals, tickets and more,” Mr. Jaconi said. “After we identify the geography of the user, we use a combination of location, popularity and price to return options that the hotel guest is most likely to find compelling in the place they are visiting.

“We have multiple providers globally, and they can differ by geography,” he said. “Hotels.com wants guests to have a great experience, so the chief objective is to choose options that have the highest relevancy and likelihood of pleasing guests.

“The relevancy criteria is determined by Button querying each of the commerce providers’ APIs via our deep, rich integrations.”