Giving independent hotel operators the same digital capabilities as the big travel players, the first DIY app builder for the hospitality sector in the UK, Criton Apps, is integrating key guest engagement technologies onto one mobile app.

The traveltech start-up has signed the first reseller agreement with mobile messaging and engagement solutions provider Benbria® in the UK.  The agreement allows for Benbria’s Loop Messenger™ and Loop OnDemand™ applications to be embedded into the Criton Apps guest experience.

The deal, which will give Criton clients the ability to build communication tools into their app, follows a similar arrangement with Bubbl, the location-based push notification technology that aids hotels to promote offers and promotions to guests depending on their location.

The two new tech partnerships mean that Criton’s client base of hotels, serviced apartments and other holiday destinations can now create affordable branded information apps that will also allow them to communicate directly with their guests and build the customer experience further with localised product offers.

These capabilities will be available as additional functionality beyond the travel, destination information and local recommendations that already exist within the Criton App builder. Developing such tools within an app for the customer’s own mobile device is widely seen as vital to increase guest satisfaction.

According to one study[i], 92 per cent of hotel guests carry a smartphone. 40 per cent use hotel apps on them, while another 30 per cent are inclined to download an app. 70 per cent of guests want to use technology to speed up the process of doing and getting what they want.

Julie Grieve is the CEO and founder of Criton Apps, which recently secured a £5million investment to support the company’s growth ambitions.

“Using digital technologies to enhance the customer experience is vital for all hotel and holiday accommodation businesses”, commented Ms. Grieve. “Today’s travellers and guests rely on their mobile phones or devices, carrying them everywhere; we simply provide operators of all sizes the ability to create an app for their hotel or apartments that not only acts as a digital concierge, but also allows them to answer guest’s questions, resolve any issues in real time, and increase revenue.

“Working with both Benbria and Bubbl has been an absolute pleasure. The level of cooperation and shared vision has meant that we are totally committed to creating an app building service that will have a tremendous impact on the travel sector looking to keep pace with the digitally-savvy guest.”

Benbria, whose Loop® platform supports real-time messaging, ordering, request fulfillment, and guest feedback applications, has a track record of success working with leading brands and independent hoteliers, globally. Their unified Loop Inbox™, which allows hotels to communicate with guests and manage requests between hotel staff, delivers the accessibility and speed of service today’s modern travelers demand.

“Our mission is to help our clients engage their guests and build meaningful relationships using real-time messaging”, commented James Geneau, Benbria’s Head of Marketing. “Ease of use is vital, and what Criton Apps has achieved with its DIY app builder is exactly the kind of like-minded company we want to work with as part of our global omni-channel communications platform.”