Nine out of ten travelers use their mobile devices on trips. Restaurant searches and social media are among the most popular activities, used by 36% and 29% of travelers respectively. Hotel Indigo, known for having a tech-savvy clientele and being an investor in local scenes, decided to make the smartphone search and social media posting easier and less expensive, for its guests. The hotel placed large touch screens in the lobbies of all its U.S.-based hotels to serve as neighborhood guides. Integrated with Google maps, the screens allow users to download a map and directions to a local attraction via email or QR code scanning. The screen offers suggestions for activities, and guests can tap on the suggestions to see distance from the hotel.
The screens also enable social sharing. Guests can take selfies with the screen, post a status update on Facebook or upload photos to post or share via email. The guides are customized by neighborhood, acting as a virtual concierge. For example, the Chelsea property Neighborhood Guide suggests a walk through the flower district. As of February, the neighborhood guides had more than 12,000 photo and 250,000 guest interactions. The hotel does not have human concierges and operates on lean staff, suggesting the possibility of a low-touch service future for Hotel brands.