L2’s Digital IQ Index: Prestige Hotels finds alternative booking channels such as Kayak and Travelocity to be far ahead of Prestige Hotel brands in developing quality mobile apps. Even though 91% of Hotel brands have created an app, the majority miss features that appeal to consumers. For example, just 52% of Hotel apps have push notification even though 68% of downloaders opt to receive them. In contrast, all of the major alternative booking systems support push notification and beacon technology. Five of the top 7 alternative booking channels have a hotel map with GPS, which only 29% of hotel brand sites offer.
And just 16% of hotel brand apps have user reviews, a feature on all major online travel agency apps but Airbnb. Close to 9 out of 10 travelers rate reviews as highly important in choosing accommodations, placing Prestige Hotel apps behind the alternative channels in popularity.
But not all is lost for Hotel brand apps as they are better poised than third parties to offer property-specific services such as mobile check-in and reservation of hotel activities, which 13% and 45% of hotels do respectively. None of the major alternative booking channels offer those features, an opportunity for hotels to steer app users to their apps.