Innovation That Matters

Location-based service helps hotel guests connect offline

Travel & Tourism

New York City’s Pod Hotel may give guests a way to connect online before their stay, but such capabilities are by no means ubiquitous. Aiming to bring similar functionality to the rest of the hospitality world, Israel-based IMGuest gives guests at virtually any hotel around the globe a way to find each other and hook up while they’re away from home. Similar in many ways to airline-focused social networks such as Planely, IMGuest works much the way location-based services like Foursquare do. Users of the service begin by registering with the free service, either directly or through Facebook or Twitter. Then, each time they arrive at a hotel as part of their journeys, they check in virtually on the site and indicate the purpose of their stay along with who they’d be interested in meeting there. IMGuest’s database currently includes more than 140,000 hotels worldwide. From there, users can browse for like-minded guests in their hotel, connect by sending a message and set up face-to-face meetings. The service even informs users in real time when new users check in at the same or a nearby hotel, or when someone checks out their profile. In fact, users can also reportedly elect to “follow” their favorite fellow guests to get alerts when their paths cross again. For participating hotels, IMGuest offers guest statistics and analytics along with confidential survey capabilities and a way to reward guests with special benefits and activities. Hoteliers around the globe: how about you? (Related: Trip-planning site helps find others to travel the world withConnecting airline travellers for a shared cab.) Spotted by: Jim Stewart



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