The use of smartphones to book hotel rooms has increased significantly over the past few years with some statistics claiming this number to be well over the 50% mark for all hotel reservations. With this information at hand the need for hotels to keep up with technology has become hugely important. protel, by Ankerdata, a hospitality business solutions provider, has partnered with ConnectHOTEL to bring a customized, protel-compatible, ‘mobile concierge’ and booking application to the South African hotel industry.
The ConnectHOTEL platform, built locally in South Africa, integrates directly with protel platforms, bringing the best available rates, in real time, to guests using the app. Eben Marais, Director at Ankerdata, says, “This user-friendly, five-step booking application cuts commission fees to less than half of the major OTAs and together with a minimal set-up fee, is creating a lot of excitement in the industry.”
And, in response to the emerging chatbot demand which calls for conversation via auditory or textual methods, the platform also offers a bot named HOLLY, who is trained in the back-end to engage with guests before, during and after their stay, over a chat platform. Guests can order room service, lodge a request with housekeeping, book a taxi or arrange a later check-out time, and this is just the tip of the iceberg, ensuring a seamless, efficient and personalized experience with the hotel.
The mobile concierge and booking platform is designed based on a hotel’s requirements and internal management flows and processes, and is in keeping with its corporate identity.
Jane Rosen from ConnectHOTEL says that they see this latest development in artificial intelligence as the future of guest engagement – it is a must for hotels wanting to attract and connect with a younger generation of travellers.