Technology: Deploying myHotel app
City Premiere Hotel Apartments in the UAE goes mobile smart
When locally owned and operated City Premiere Hotel Apartments sought a mobile technology solution to drive more direct bookings to its properties in the UAE, with the aim to reduce third-party commissions, a key factor driving the group’s decision was return on investment.
City Premiere collaborated with Neorcha and deployed the myHotel app across its five properties in the UAE as a mobile direct booking channel. The app features a messaging platform and geo-location feature which can dynamically, in real time, alert guests to hotel events and promotions, and the ability to integrate with hotel CRM, PMS, CRS, and POS systems.
The group opted for Neorcha’s standard chain app which enabled it to go live simultaneously at all five hotels within a four to five week time span, as minimum customisation and third-party system integration was required.
Guests were enticed to download the app and use it to directly book their next stay through a series of marketing and communications initiatives, including a card at check-out with the app’s QR code. As an additional incentive for app engagement, City Premiere offered app users a preferred rate.
City Premiere was able to fully amortise its investment in the myHotel app within a payback period of three to four months. Taking into account the discount offered for app bookings as well as achieved reduction in third-party commissions, the payback period was approximately six months, well within the company’s desired ROI timeframe. Over six months of deployment, an approximate 350 room nights were booked monthly.
The group initially deployed the app with English language capability only, but is now working with Neorcha on the incorporation of an Arabic version, to be rolled out this year.
City Premiere Hotel Apartments general manager Kamal Soubra said: “The myHotel mobile app is now a well-established, important direct booking channel for our hotels and it has the potential to generate more bookings than some of our other distribution channels, including our own website.
“Operating in the mid-market segment, we know and appreciate that our guests are rate-sensitive; being able to offer them a preferred rate as an incentive to book their return stay with us directly, has proven to be a win-win solution for everyone.”
Neorcha’s top three tips for the successful use of mobile apps in hotels:
• Concentrate on regular guests and/or loyalty members as well as long stayers, who will be most receptive to the app and inclined to use it regularly.
• Provide added value in terms of service or special rates to incentivise guests to book directly through the app; create awareness to ensure regular use.
• Be pragmatic in your approach; use the app to ease and enhance your guests’ stay.