Hotel-branded apps The hotel or chain builds or brands a tablet app, possibly including features such as reservation, check-in, in-room hotel-info, room service and housekeeping. So a guest, prior to their stay, can go to the appropriate app store, download the brand's app and start to use it. The hotel can generate incremental revenue through selling upgrades, pre-paid meals, spa treatments, restaurant reservations and other incidental items. It sounds good, and indeed, several chains are moving in this direction. But there are challenges with this scenario. First of all, developing and maintaining separate apps as well as content for the different platforms is an expensive and time-consuming proposition. After all, hotel chains already struggle to keep their guest-facing websites up-to-date. Will they attempt to keep multiple apps up-to-date as well? Keep in mind the various interfaces required: to the PMS, SPA, housekeeping, room service and others. Second, in order for the app to work in-room after check-in, there needs to be a check-in process on the app to create a clear link between the tablet and the registered guest. Otherwise, the guest could – in theory – turn up the air conditioner and order room service days before arriving in the hotel. Finally – and this is a recurring theme – how many apps can hotels expect guests to download? Just because guests own a tablet does not mean that they will take the time to download the hotel brand's app and use it. So the tablet app has to remain an optional way – but not the only way - of getting service. Hotels can provide it, but will still need to provide services to guests without the app. As such, there are no cost-saving benefits of this approach. Get the full story at Hetras