Innovation That Matters

Hotel equips concierges with iPads

Travel & Tourism

Hotels are not uncommonly among the early adopters of new technologies, as we’ve already seen in Sheraton’s use of interactive tables, Mama Shelter’s installation of iMacs in every room, the Algonquin’s use of Kindles and the Townhouse Hotel’s emphasis on Twitter. Now continuing along that well-trodden technological path comes InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, which recently announced that it is equipping its concierges with Apple’s new iPad. As part of a global pilot at InterContinental New York Barclay, InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta, InterContinental London Park Lane and InterContinental Hong Kong, travellers can now look forward to receiving enhanced local destination advice from hotel concierge teams using the mobile, multi-touch, content-rich iPad. Rather than jot directions on a foldable paper map, for example, concierge teams can now provide exact directions through interactive maps on the device with high-resolution satellite imagery, close-up street views and detailed walking routes. Local recommendations can come to life in InterContinental’s unique destination-specific videos, while bookings can be made and confirmed instantly by e-mail. Simon Scoot, the company’s vice president of global brand management, explains: “We have an amazing team of concierges worldwide, and our concierges are already engaging with our guests with useful information such as pre-stay e-mails, destination-specific concierge websites, interactive maps and concierge videos. We are also preparing to pilot state-of-the-art Google Maps technology as well as other enhancements, and the Apple iPad will be a revolutionary way of showcasing some of these features.” The hospitality arena is nothing if not competitive, so putting new technologies to work makes good sense as a means for differentiation. Other hotels, airports and restaurants around the globe: what about you…? Spotted by: Cecilia Biemann



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