Hotels and matchmaker apps, a match made in heaven? Part 2 of 2

Contd. from Part 1 posted 12th December

And hotels are always looking to re-define how they are perceived.
“Any hotel, in general, doesn’t necessarily only want to be considered as a place to go when you need a place to stay overnight,” said Andee Olson, director of partnerships at Bumble. “Moxy has done a really great job of offering spaces and restaurants and bars that brand beyond the general idea of a hotel. Locals or people who aren’t even staying at this hotel will want to come back, because those spaces are different. They’re not cookie-cutter and they’re more thoughtful.”

Poulos said Bumble was an ideal partner for Moxy because of like-minded brand values, and the fact that Bumble itself has its own global social network of 42 million members. Poulos said that because Bumble also facilitates professional business networking, the partnership is an easy fit for business travelers, too.
For Line hotels, fostering community engagement was the No. 1 reason for forming a partnership with Bumble BFF, including connecting female entrepreneurs with one another.

“For us it’s always been about providing a platform for place for the community to engage, and when you go to any Line property, without having that community, it would change the vibe,” said Sana Keefer, global brand director for the Line. “We are very inclusive. If you walk into a lobby, no one will ever ask you for a room key. As a traveler, for you to get that local, rich experience, you have to have some level of interaction with the people who make that place so special.”
The Bumble BFF Brunch Club events hosted at the Line are also specifically designed to highlight the success of women who work in hospitality, including Top Chef winner Kristen Kish, the executive chef and partner of Arlo Grey, and Eliana Dominguez and Irene Martinez, the founders of Cocktail Collective at the Lobby Bar.

“Food and beverage tends to be more of a male-dominated industry,” Keefer explained, which is why the Line wanted to have its in-house talent “get involved and share career advice” during the brunch events.

Life House, Generator, Moxy, and Bumble, also stressed the importance of safety and privacy when it comes to use of these apps.

Generator’s Rieff said that app users are always asked if they want to share their location, or upload photos, and that users can easily register complaints via the app that go directly to the hotel general manager and the in-house marketing team. “We have put in every measure possible to ensure safety to the best of our abilities,” he said. “We can’t exactly join people when they form groups, but we actively encourage them to make sure they feel safe when they meet up with them, and we make sure the app is a safe environment.”

Life House verifies locals that are allowed to be on its Social Network, and for guests to have access to the app, they need to have a confirmed booking and also undergo a background check, Zeidan said.

“We created Social Network in such a way that it’s tied to every person’s profile, reservation, and behaviour so we can create and foster a community that’s focused on eliminating the barriers that promote connection. It ties into our reservations and property management system, and that’s why we built the tech in house. It’s about fostering that safety net and fostering trust and safety.”
By contrast, The Standard’s Lobby app allows users to be anonymous; a user has to give consent to use his or her name. All content from the app is also deleted once that guest checks out, and there are a number of built-in features to address safety and security concerns.

For Moxy, the fact that the BumbleSpots are public spaces is a built-in safety layer. “You have people working at the hotels, and you have others around you. Having connections happen in environments that are public, and meant to create social interaction makes people feel comfortable and safe.” Bumble’s Olson said the company also takes a hard line against any users who abuse the app.

Whether to encourage dating, networking, or simply shared travel experiences, all of these various apps share the same objective: to bring people together, and to do so in spaces that are designed just for that – the hotel.

“We’re in the business of making connections,” said Bumble’s Olson. “We make those connections online, but the hope it that once those connections ever reach a point to be taken into the physical world, we want to make sure they have a place where they can go to a space that holds the same values.”

And for travelers, especially, this simply builds on the desire they have for more experiences.

“As we think about experiential travel, so much of that experience is about meeting people and experiencing new things with those people,” Life House’s Zeidan said. “And technology in the hotel space can help foster a true community.”

With these social network apps and partnerships like the one between Moxy and Bumble, travelers and locals alike “get the best of both worlds,” said Poulos. “So, why not take that leap and make these connections in real life?”

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