Bass Hotels & Resorts, a global leader with more than 3,000 hotels in close to 100 countries, today launched the industry`s most comprehensive wireless services for locating hotels and making room reservations.
Working with Air2Web Inc., the leading mobile Internet platform provider, Bass Hotels & Resorts guests can now easily obtain hotel information from wireless devices including the Palm VII, Web-enabled phones and digital text messaging phones. Bass Hotels & Resorts will provide these enhanced services for all their brands including Holiday Inn(R), Holiday Inn Express(R), Inter-Continental(R), Crowne Plaza(R) and Staybridge Suites(R).
Guests, who are members of Priority Club, Bass Hotels & Resorts` frequent guest program, can also make reservations on Web-enabled devices with a minimal amount of effort. As a Priority Club member, stored room preferences and credit card information are used to offer personalized reservations and streamline the process.
“With the growth of wireless devices and Web-enabled phones, we want to offer new services to our guests to assist them in researching and making their hotel reservations. In essence, we want to be first and foremost in the minds of our travelers whenever and wherever they choose to shop,” said Eric Pearson, vice president of E-commerce for Bass Hotels & Resorts.
According to the Yankee Group, the number of wireless Internet users today in the US is one million, compared with 150 million personal-computer users. By 2005, there should be 177 million wireless Web users, compared with 200 million PC users. Furthermore, Forrester Research predicts that by 2005, one in 10 households in North America are expected to have a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) and four out of five people will have a Net-enabled mobile phone.
“We didn`t want to limit ourselves to one device given the constant change in the high-tech industry and the associated costs with supporting these devices,” Pearson added. “As such, we found a solutions provider in Air2Web that gives access to many devices today and support for new products as the market matures.”
Guests can register on any Bass Hotels & Resorts branded Web site to select their device and customize their profile. Air2Web has tailored links for more than 260 wireless devices based on manufacturer and specifications.
“Air2Web is the fastest, safest and most scalable mobile Internet platform giving Bass Hotels & Resorts the greatest flexibility to extend their hotel brands into the wireless world,” said Sanjoy Malik, president and CEO of Air2Web. “Through our relationship with Bass Hotels & Resorts, Air2Web has not only created a landmark capability in the hospitality and wireless industries, but has emerged as the platform of choice for businesses extending their e-business initiatives into the mobile world.”
Air2Web combines a robust API with tools, information, and an online community to help Bass Hotels & Resorts define, create, test and deploy its interactive mobile applications for travelers. Its technology is built to open standards for both Web and wireless carriers and incorporates industry- accepted security standards. Air2Web is working with PricewaterhouseCoopers, one of their strategic alliance partners, to develop the business strategy and manage the integration of the wireless applications into Bass Hotels` enterprise infrastructure.
“Our relationship with Air2Web is allowing us to develop and deploy a leading-edge wireless solution for the hospitality industry,” said Geoffrey Vickrey, managing director, PricewaterhouseCoopers. “PricewaterhouseCoopers is committed to helping clients exploit the benefits of mobile business and this project clearly illustrates the enormous advantages for companies and their customers.”