Tech that, cupid!: How hotels are hoping to play matchmakers
An increasing number of hotel brands are now using new mobile technologies similar to dating apps in order to facilitate connections and make themselves into invaluable “experience platforms,” rather than just a place where guests happen to stay while they’re out traveling.
Not only does this stand to draw more visitors and residents to hotels, it also helps them stay relevant in the face of competition from Airbnb.
What these dating app efforts look like varies a bit depending on the company. Marriott’s Moxy brand, for example, recently announced a new partnership with Bumble, which is a location-based app that primarily facilitates dating, one that is marketed as female first. What this partnership does is designate a number of Moxy Hotels throughout the United States as “BumbleSpots,” a catchy term that means places Bumble users are encouraged to meet.
Meanwhile, the boutique hotel brand Generator also recently announced the creation of GenFriends, which is a mobile app that allows users to swipe and match with other travelers, much like the industry-leading dating app Tinder.
While dating and romance are a feature and goal of many of these apps, simply socializing with other guests is common as well. The Standard hotel has created a new app called Lobby, which gives guests a virtual space to check in and chat with others who are staying at the same hotel.
Matchmaking concepts in hotels are here to stay, and will become a vital part of what hotels offer guests, marking them as purveyors of not just places to sleep but also of unique social experiences. And, if things go well for some guests, hopefully a lot more…
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