Hotels looking more for technological gimmicks
12/30/2006|3:32:00 PM|Travelmole

Smith Travel Research is predicting the hotel industry will be spending more than $122 billion this year, much of it on gimmicks and gadgets in an effort to appeal to overnight guests.

"With revenues like that, it´s no surprise that companies will pull out all the stops to make sure they get your attention," said ABC News.
LodgeNet Entertainment Corp., an operator of interactive entertainment systems and services for the lodging industry, has designed several services to appeal to this fast-growing market.

The company´s LaunchPad device is a connectivity panel that allows guests to connect their laptops and most portable media devices to high-definition displays located in their hotel rooms. The product has been so well received that Hyatt Hotels has designated it a brand standard, according to Ann Parker, director of corporate communications at LodgeNet.

"We can deliver brand-specific messages and usage instructions to help improve the brand bond and guest experience," said Ms Parker.
Other products in the works are an iPod docking station that can be controlled with the room remote control, and a service called Entertainment 2Go that allows guests to download full-length movies legally to their laptops, reported ABC.

Stanford Hotels Corp., a company that owns and manages 13 properties that include Marriotts, Sheratons and Hiltons, has also created an interactive connectivity panel for its guests.

The company´s GuestLink system has already been installed in 155 guest rooms at the Hilton Washington Dulles Hotel, and plans are in the works to do the same at the Waikiki Prince Kuhio hotel in Oahu and the Hilton Charlotte Center City hotel in North Carolina.