Location, location, location. While real estate agents have always known the importance of that saying, in recent years, the hospitality industry has also adopted the mantra. Location-based technologies are — in a word — hot. While most hospitality uses so far are tests and pilots, 2016 will see rapid adoption: 20% of hotel operators queried for HT’s 2015 Lodging Technology Study revealed that they plan to roll out the technology within 18 months, and 28% of restaurants surveyed in the 2015 Restaurant Technology Study intend to add beacons to their technology strategies.
The Location-Based Marketing Association (www.lbma.org) calls location data the cookie for the physical world because beacons, GPS, WiFi and sensors on phones add context to data by identifying location, just as Web cookies do online. Knowing a guest’s location at a specific time helps hotels and restaurants tailor messaging and experiences and yields deeper insights into customers’ behaviors and patterns.
“Ten years ago guests expected a consistent experience across the brand,” says Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the Asian American Hotel Owner’s Association (www.aahoa.com). “Today they are looking for a tailored, individual experience. An individualized offer creates loyalty, and hotels can do that using location data.”