Guest Acceptance of Smartphone Apps at Hotels and Resorts

Norman Shaw
Secure applications (apps) on the smartphone now make it possible for hotels and resorts to provide additional services to their guests, such as sending e-receipts and enabling their smartphone to be used as the room-key. Guests are able to track their loyalty points and easily redeem them at time of payment. Hotel operators are able to optimize the use of facilities, sending targeted promotions in the form of e-coupons to their in-house guests. The development of these smartphone apps requires investment from the various organizations that support their deployment. Because these investment decisions depend upon guests’ acceptance of the smartphone apps, the research in this study seeks to understand those factors that influence their adoption. The research model is based on the Technology Acceptance Model, which posits that consumers will accept hotel apps when they perceive that they are both useful and easy to use. They will learn about these apps through word of mouth, but they may be hesitant to use them due to concerns about trust. The theoretical model is extended with the constructs of word of mouth and trust. Analysis of data collected from US consumers indicates that perceived usefulness is the key influencing factor and it is mediated by trust.