Deutsche Hospitality has become the first German hotel chain to present the “Alexa Voice Service Skills Kit”. “Alexa” is an Internet-based language assistant delivered via Amazon Echo which supports guests in the selection of their next travel destination.
Users are asked targeted questions about their preferences and then receive individual hotel recommendations. “Alexa” is able to suggest suitable locations for upcoming health and beauty spa weekends, city trips or beach holidays. If the potential guests so wish, relevant links to the booking sites of the respective hotels can be sent out by e-mail. The “Steigenberger Hotel Search” skill is available for download free of charge in the Alexa app or in the Alexa Skill Store here.
As well as this personal language assistant, Deutsche Hospitality is also offering a facility to make bookings via a chat function with immediate effect. The implementation of such a system very much reflects current user habits. “Mobile end devices are assuming an increasing number of purposes in our everyday lives", explains Dr. Jan Sammeck, Director of E-Commerce at Deutsche Hospitality. “We have taken the opportunity to map hotel reservations in an intuitive and playful way. People are familiar with such an approach thanks to services such as WhatsApp or Facebook-Messenger. Our chat function enables mobile users to book their hotel stays quickly, automatically and interactively.” This system has been created in conjunction with web developers from workmatrix, a company which specialises in the provision of hotel services and is already available on the Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts mobile website. It will now be rolled out to the other brands in the Deutsche Hospitality portfolio following a successful trial phase.
Deutsche Hospitality is also continuing to digitalise the check-in process. Guests who wish to avoid possible waiting times at reception will soon be able to access a new web-based check-in function via the relevant website. This service has already been incorporated in the apps for the IntercityHotel and Jaz Hotel brands. The app can also be used to open room doors and settle bills. In order to go one step further in future and offer all guests the possibility of checking in online without needing to download a dedicated app, plans are in place to make a stand-alone web check-in service available by the second half of the year.
In light of the growing significance of international hotel visitors and given the rise in cashless online transactions, Deutsche Hospitality is increasing the diversity of its payment options. Payments via Alipay will be accepted in future for reservations made via the company’s websites. Alipay is an online payment system offered by the Alibaba Group in China. Boasting more than 520 million users, it is one of the largest platforms of its type in the world and is particularly popular amongst Chinese guests.