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InterContinental Hotels drive bookings via 7 new apps

InterContinental Hotels is driving mobile bookings to its locations with the launch of seven new iPhone applications.

The new IHG apps let users find and book hotel rooms, check rates and cancel reservations.  The apps are available for free download in Apple’s App Store.

“The ultimate goal is to extend the utility of apps and the mobile Web by integrating functionality beyond booking,” said Michael Menis, vice president of Web and interactive marketing at InterContinental Hotels, Atlanta.

“This will be important as we apply our expertise as branded hoteliers to provide the value of a complete end-to-end hotel stay,” he said.

InterContinental Hotels operates seven global hotel chains, including the Holiday Inn brand, Staybridge Suites and InterContinental Hotels and Resorts.

Last-minute check-ins
According to IHG, 65 percent of consumers who use the company’s app stay at IHG hotels the same night or within a day, showing the importance of the on-the-go platform while users are traveling.

With the app, users can find and book hotels with them using geo-tracking technology.

Consumers can also comparison shop within the InterContinental brands while on the go.

Additionally, users can store credit card information and travel profiles for future use.

Priority Club Reward members can earn points and rewards for their account.

“Our initial iPhone efforts were targeted at our Priority Club Rewards program, and because our seven hotel brands are at the heart of our business, we are building off that initial success by expanding our iPhone solutions to include apps for each of our seven brands.” Mr. Menis said.

“We are consistently amazed at the adoption and usage of our existing smartphone apps and mobile Web solutions. There is certainly a lot of latent demand for travel-related services as adoption of smart devices grows,” he said.

“We have an eye toward turning the devices into management tools that convey the essence of each of our unique brands.”

Virtual accommodations
The news of IHG’s new apps follows a string of mobile efforts from the company.

IHG has also released the InterContinental Concierge Insider Guides iPad app, the Priority Club Rewards app for Android and the Priority Club Rewards iPhone app.

Similarly, other hotel brands have also jumped on board with mobile.

For example, Trump Hotel Collection launched software at its hotels this week to make guests’ experiences easier and more enjoyable. The application works with Apple, Android and BlackBerry devices.

“We will continue to build mobile solutions that deliver information to our guests when they want it and how they want it to assist them in every step of the travel-planning process,” Mr. Menis said.

“We are also looking at concepts including the integration of location-based offers for food and beverage, mobile check in, mobile key, arrival and pre-arrival communication,” he said.