September 04, 2017

Bot, button, bluetooth - three technologies hunting for direct hotel bookings

The phone. The mobile device that turned us all into dutiful Internet addicts has pulled a 180 and is now lord high gatekeeper to the physical world as well.

“It’s not so much about Facebook Messenger. Rather, it’s this shift in how people think about and purchase really anything,” says Lisa Marchese, chief marketing officer at The Venetian in Las Vegas, which in May rolled out an option to book direct through Messenger, Facebook’s instant messaging service.

The move was a no-brainer, Marchese says. Using Facebook Messenger was a low risk, fast-to-market option for The Venetian that gave guests what they wanted: lightning quick room bookings using a very familiar medium.

The bot technology recognizes signals from guests’ questions, and The Venetian’s already learning from that and tweaking accordingly. The hotel initially provided a typical 60-day Las Vegas booking window but later adjusted it to 90 days after direct guest feedback via Facebook Messenger.

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