iPads in hotel rooms top travel trends for 2011

Corporate Traveller has released the top five emerging trends for the hotel sector with new technologies and hotel designs reshaping the accommodation experience. Global hotel program general manager Joe McCormack said more business travellers were getting into bed with hotel chains offering iPads in hotel rooms, mobile phone check-in and pod-style guest rooms.

“In the past year there have been a number of new developments in the hotel industry which are making the hotel experience more efficient, more entertaining and more environmentally friendly,” he said. Their top five trends were:

  1. iPads in hotel rooms
  2. Mobile phone room check-in
  3. Social media websites and online restaurant booking services
  4. Pod-style hotel rooms
  5. Environmentally-friendly hotel partner programs.

“iPads are the perfect addition to hotel rooms; they’re small, compact and not as bulky as desktop computers or heavy as laptops,” McCormack said.

“Hotels like The Berkeley Hotel in London and The Plaza in New York are offering iPads in guest rooms, while Sofitel hotels in select locations in Europe and the UK are offering iPads to guests at check-in. Sofitel’s iPads are loaded with an application called The Kiosk featuring daily newspapers and magazines. InterContinental Hotels Group has been trialling new mobile phone technology that allows guests to unlock their hotel rooms with their phones.

“First we had mobile check-in for airport passengers now hotels are providing the same mobile phone capabilities to ensure a quicker check-in process for guests,” Mr McCormack said. “Mobile phone check-in means guests can skip the front desk and go straight to their rooms, where they can swipe their phones to unlock the door.”

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