This week’s Friday Fuel roundup explores announcements from the Google I/O conference, how Hilton is revamping room service, updates on Marriott’s latest amenity offering, and much more.
Binge Watching Made Easy at Marriott
Guests who feign for their Netflix fix while traveling can rest at ease; Marriott just announced that it is introducing free Netflix access for select hotels across the nation. The roll out will begin with six locations this summer and is expected to be offered at more than 100 properties by the end of 2015 and eventually 300 locations by the end of 2016. Guests will be able to sign directly into their Netflix account via the Netflix app designed specifically for Marriott hotel TVs. What do you think – is this a feature you’d like to see at more hotels?
IOU Some Google I/O Updates
Did you miss the Google I/O conference announcements? If so, fret not! One of our savvy web developers was on the ball and put together a great re-cap. Announcements included updates on Project Jacquard, a project that involved weaving multi-touch sensors into textiles, Project ARA, a “build it yourself” cell phone concept, and the new Android M Software Update – to name a few. We also explore the implications of these updates from a hotel perspective and what it could mean for hotel marketers and software developers.
Fuel Takes On HITEC
The Fueligans are on the move and are busy prepping for the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition & Conference (HITEC) that kicks off next week in Austin, TX. HITEC will feature over 300 hospitality related companies from across the globe that will be showcasing their latest and greatest products. Fuel will be in booth #927 showing off our brand new GuestExpress Mobile Booking App product for hotels as well as our new FuelGauge Marketing Analytics Dashboard. Be sure to stop by and say “Hi!”!
Pinterest – Take Me Away!
Why just pin pics of your dream getaway when you can actually book it? Social media giant Pinterest recently followed other platforms (notably, Facebook & Twitter) and launched a “Buy Now” button that will allow users to complete purchases direct. Prices for buyable items will show up on the search screen and users will have filtering capabilities that will allow them to set price minimums and maximums. From a hotel perspective, this could be an interesting avenue to explore. Another opportunity for hotels, aside from selling a destination itself, could be for hotels to tap into the “Pinterest wedding” trend and showcase their unique wedding venues. Will your hotel experiment with this new Pinterest feature?
Starwood Re-Invents Sheraton Brand
What words pop into your mind when you think about the Sheraton Brand? Corporate travel? Upscale hotel room? Outdated? Whether your preconceived brand notions are positive or negative, Starwood seems to think that the image and brand skew to the later “outdated” end and have just announced big plans to re-invent the chain. The brand refresh proposal includes plans for new brand positioning, a $100 Million marketing campaign, innovations to the guest experience, and a plan to open another 150 hotels across the world by 2020 – among other things. Do you think Starwood can successfully re-brand this hotel giant? What obstacles might they face?
Related: Starwood Will Be Key Free For 2016
Reviving Room Service
When is the last time you went to a hotel and ordered something from room service? This amenity is just one of the many hotel features that are slowly becoming just a memory, due primarily to increasing prices or lack of demand. Hilton, however, is taking a different approach than other brands and is matching demand to market. This means that a guest might stay at one Hilton in a busy city that has a 24/7 room service option while another location might simply offer quick “to go” or delivery options during peak times of the day rather than getting rid of the service all together. CEO Christopher Nassetta is quoted saying, “when it comes to hotel offerings such as room service and mini-bars, a major trend in global hospitality is that the services will depend on market conditions.” What do you think about this approach to hotel amenities?