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Starwood HotelsThe Portable Concierge

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Inspiring travel with curated, local content for future destinations.

INSPIRING TRAVEL

As new avenues of communication develop, we helped Starwood Hotels & Resorts produce and distribute custom content created by locals, providing an insider view on how to enjoy the destination—we called this our ‘Stay as a Local’ strategy. By chatting with travelers through platforms they’re already on, we offered tips from friends in the know, who you actually don’t know (yet), and became the inspiration to book a stay.

Insight

Travel inspiration can strike at any moment. From online articles and expert consultants, to conversations with friends—what people know about a destination determines their choice. We looked to be that friendly recommendation.

CHALLENGE

The challenge was to promote 79 properties in 13 destinations by increasing access and distribution of relevant local information, aligning to each of Starwood Hotel’s nine unique brands.

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Solution

Our ‘Stay As a Local’ approach is always evolving to make sure our custom content is readily available, because when you’re looking for the best steak spot in town, there’s no taming the hanger. As search behaviors change, we adapt to how people get their information—from websites to chatbots and beyond. By continuously moving forward with users, we’ve given ourselves the chance to explore voice platforms like Amazon Echo and we won’t stop there.

CONTENT AND DESTINATION STRATEGY

Quality content was sourced from bloggers and journalists, edited for genuine insight to maintain the brand’s voice. Several user-friendly websites were built to offer not only destination information, but also themed itineraries (like the most memorable bachelorette party) and hyper-local things to do.

The first Latin American chatbot for travel to Cuba. The SPG Digital Concierge.

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CUBA AND THE SPG DIGITAL CONCIERGE

When the US re-established relations with Cuba, Starwood Hotels & Resorts opened the Four Points by Sheraton Havana. This new destination excited travelers, but they had a lot of reservations about access to the island. So we created a Facebook Messenger bot for interested travelers to ask questions and get expert advice on immigration, what to take, what to see, and where to go on their visit.

Conclusion

We inspired people to travel by helping them find great information about destinations they might not have considered. People chat with friends and ask them about their trip through text or over a cup of coffee—we wanted to be that friend. By seizing new technology powered by Artificial Intelligence, we made it happen in a very intuitive way. Suddenly key travel info was available how and when you wanted it.

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