Guests Embrace Hotel Messaging Tools

By Jeremy Kressman, eMarketer

Chat-based messaging apps, like chatbots, are gaining favor across a range of industries like the retail sector, where executives find they can help streamline customer service and help assist with purchase decisions.

A December 2016 study from OpenMarket highlights the growing enthusiasm for texting-based interfaces among potential hotel customers. More than 90% of respondents from the US and UK said that responding to hotel companies via text message would either be “very” or “somewhat” useful.

Travelers liked these text interfaces for a number of reasons, including the ability to avoid calling the front desk and being able to easily access confirmation details. More than 53% of respondents said they found texting hotels useful because they could have their confirmation number easily accessible, while nearly 31% liked that they didn’t have to use a landline phone to contact hotel staff.

Other sources beyond OpenMarket confirm this rising interest in chat-like interface tools among travel consumers. Consider the November 2016 study by DigitasLBi, which asked US internet users about the types of recommendations they would like to receive from chatbots. Accommodations and travel destinations recommendations were the second and third most popular responses.

Whether these messaging interactions should be powered by automated “bots” or managed by human staff at the hotel is a matter of debate. But regardless of who’s texting, expect hospitality companies and their guests to embrace more chat messaging in the years to come.