Adoption and Feature of North American Hotel Mobile Applications

Chris Gibbs
Jesse Saltzman
Ulrike Gretzel
The purpose of this research is to explore mobile application adoption and features for North American branded hotels. This exploratory study is based on a sample of 25 of the largest North American hotel brands representing 2,186 hotels with over 790,000 rooms. Mobile application adoption is highest at the brand family level with 100% adoption and lowest at the property specific level with less than 4% having a mobile application. Features for hotel mobile applications are dominated by activities related to information sharing, navigation, social sharing and loyalty programs, while features related to transaction and personal concierge services are less available. With multiple different apps for the same hotel brand, there is a potential for fragmentation of the guest brand experience. Although limited to North American hotels, this exploratory research provides a deeper understanding into the adoption and availability of features for hotel mobile applications. This research is relevant to hotel technology experts looking to advance mobile application strategies. This is the first empirical study related to mobile applications and hotel brands. Future research should consider building comprehensive mobile application taxonomies to provide stronger foundations for systematic analyses in this area.