One year ago during HITEC 2013, Accor announced partnering with hospitality technology group Monscierge on a project seeking to change the behavior patterns of guests and staff, producing new methods of guest-to-property engagement - the launch of the Novotel Virtual Concierge. The Virtual Concierge has now curated over 65k local recommendations across the globe, accumulated over 1.6 million online imprints from guests sending Novotel Digital Postcards, and continues to reach upwards of 5.8 million guest-usage interactions. Phase two of the Virtual Concierge project: Enhancing the guest journey at each step, from planning before booking, to keeping enhanced connections to guests after the journey, via guests mobile phones and SMS technology. Novotel and Monscierge have a goal to change the guest experience approach, to service guest as the modern digital concierge would - through all conceivable areas that touch the travel experience of guests. Virtual Concierge's - Four Guest Journey Connection Points 1. Planning - Connecting through mobile to offer distinctive local recommendations and special offers; reaching international guests unfamiliar with the destination's language using multilingual applications. 2. Traveling & Pre Arrival Check-in - Staying in touch via mobile app SMS messaging on arrival day for last minute requests, directions, assistance and travel information. Booking confirmation and pre-arrival coordination without needing to take more time during the arrival process. 3. Staying – The Virtual Concierge stays with the guest, onsite or off, offering full hotel information, services, and travel information. 4. Checking out/End of Journey – Assistance provided via Virtual Concierge for guests departing the hotel and area, as well as keeping the access of their local favorites for all Novotel locations, and the ability to send digital postcards and messages to contacts. The application continues to service the guests' departure with access to Novotel travel information and local recommendations that exists worldwide for future trip planning. Novotel can also send special offers and build customer loyalty through a maintained connection. "What we are looking at with the Novotel Virtual Concierge implementation is forging a new path in the hospitality market with regards to the guest experience. Due to technology advancements and guest expectations, this is where hospitality is headed, and Accor and Monscierge are advancing on making these changes, not just throughout all of Accor brands, but also in the hospitality market." – David Esseryk, Accor V.P. of Technology Offering this mobile app in 16 different languages, the Novotel Virtual Concierge becomes a revolutionary tool for reaching out to guests worldwide and providing a service without the addition of staff. A recent study shows that 70% of travelers said the quality of a hotel's website and mobile application will determine if they make the decision to book with a hotel. "SMS technology, multilingual mobile applications, and local recommendations are features available for access 24/7 through the Novotel Virtual Concierge app. This technology is going to be simply expected by guests, and a traveler's experience is ultimately defined by their perception as the journey's events unfold. With new statistics appearing daily about the impact of smartphones, hotel's need to be cognizant of a traveler's focus primarily being in the palm of their hand." – Marcus Robinson, Monscierge CEO. The face of hospitality is changing to meet expectations and at each possible touch point a traveler may encounter. It's the guest journey, and it's being redefined because of technology available everywhere. Throughout the remainder of the year, Accor and its brands will be partnering with Monscierge for more in-depth planning on a hotel's positive impact with a traveller at each step of the complete guest journey, from planning excursions and transport before booking, to sharing digital images socially after a trip. Related Link: MONSCIERGE