Starwood Hotels boss Frits van Paasschen predicts 'more guests will reach us through smartphone or tablet than through PCs' during 2014 and indicated the company will increase its tech spend to keep pace with consumers.
'Increasingly, when we talk about technology, we're talking about mobile,' van Paasschen (right
) told investors yesterday.
"Mobile accounts for 42% of (Starwood) site visits, up from 16% just 2 years ago. Mobile bookings are growing 5x faster than web bookings did 10 years ago.
"We see connectivity, especially through mobile, as the great opportunity for dialogue with travellers.
"And this dialogue opens new avenues for innovation. Our efforts to become more agile have changed how we work and where we direct our energy. That includes spending.
"Alongside investing in growth geographies, we'll devote resources to stay in sync with what our guests want and to put better information in the hands of our associates."
He said Smart check-in is emblematic of the Starwood approach to mobile.
"Keyless check-in by smartphone is being piloted today at 2 hotels, the Aloft Harlem and the Aloft Cupertino," he said.Full story