At this point, it’s no longer news that mobile app technology has changed the hospitality industry immensely. And it’s a change for the better – for both guests and hotel staff.

Through mobile apps, hotels can deliver on-demand guest services, enhancing communication, engagement, and overall satisfaction. Hotel mobile apps now offer a one-stop solution for virtually every aspect of a stay, from food ordering to Wi-Fi information, from maps of a local destination to loyalty programs.

Easy-to-use guest messaging platforms allow guests to message the front desk anytime, anywhere. The mobile part of a hotel experience isn’t just a neat add-on anymore. It’s something that more and more guests expect when they check in.

The development makes sense, given the increasing reliance on our mobile devices: according to Forbes, 41% of people use a smartphone a few times every hour, and, according to Openkey, 76% of people say their smartphone is the most important travel companion.

The COVID-19 pandemic that upended the past few years has only increased the mobile-first impulse in the hotel industry. Suddenly, guests were seeking safer options and greater control over their overall experience at a given property. Almost overnight, contactless tech wasn’t a novelty, anymore; it was a necessity. Mobile tech can reduce touchpoints and make social distancing much easier. It can also provide essential, up-to-the-minute information about restrictions and regulations that guests need to know.

According to a recent study by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC), 76% of guests believe that being able to check-in ahead of time would minimize potential frustration. Additionally, 41 % would be more likely to choose a hotel that offers the convenience of advanced check-in via web or mobile device. The properties that already had a strong mobile app program in place when the pandemic kicked off were already much further ahead than other hotels as we all adjusted to the new normal.

But as we continue to adjust, it’s vital that the hotel industry doesn’t stand still. Innovation is the name of the game – now more than ever, when we’ve seen how the landscape can change in the blink of an eye.

Where Innovation Lives

At The Clancy, a new San Francisco hotel, innovation is in our DNA. Or rather, it’s in our neighborhood.

Stretching from the Embarcadero to Eleventh Street, between Market and Townsend, the SoMA neighborhood (short for South of Market) is one of the U.S.’s most innovative destinations. It was once primarily an industrial hub, home to printing presses, motorcycle mechanics, and welding shops. Now, it’s a hub of a different sort. Low-rent warehouse space here in the mid-1990s made it one of the birthplaces of the dotcom revolution.

Social media heavyweights like Twitter and LinkedIn, along with software giants like Sales Force, have their headquarters in the neighborhood today – alongside upstarts that will likely become household names in the future. At the same time, SoMa is home to a thriving creative class, offering a bridge between the tech and arts world that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world. In other words, SoMa is where tomorrow’s most innovative ideas are being dreamed up daily.

Read rest of the article at Hotel Executive