STAMFORD, Conn. - August 7, 2013 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), the award-winning loyalty program from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT), today introduced its new SPG app for Android in Chinese. The launch of this app illustrates the company’s commitment to innovation; the significance of SPG’s growth in China, the company’s fastest growing travel market and largest growing SPG market with active members more than doubling since 2010; and Starwood’s increased focus on mobile.
“Nothing is more personal than a guest’s mobile device and speaking the same language is the first step in giving our guests the best experience,” said Qian Jin, President, Greater China, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “SPG’s growth in China is unprecedented with a new member joining SPG every 20 seconds here. We know this new app will help our Chinese members make the best travel decisions from inspiration through their stay and beyond.”
According to reports, 69 percent of Chinese mobile phones run on the Android operating systems, giving Starwood significant opportunity to gain greater share of wallet with its new Chinese Android App, which makes it seamless to browse and book any of Starwood’s more than 1100 hotels in more than 100 countries.
Among the many features of the app, members have quick access to their account information – such as Starpoint balance, upcoming and past stays, as well as the ability to send a confirmation or other details to others via text or email. Location-based features are integrated to connect users to the closest customer care center.
Throughout a stay, the app provides relevant information helping the guest make the most of his/her stay such as directions, property dining options and other hotel amenities. Integrated social media channels including Weibo allow users to virtually “check-in” to their stay, remain connected to family and friends and engage through SPG’s various social media channels.
“Every digital touch point we create takes guest preferences into account,” said Clay Cowan, Vice President, Global Digital for Starwood. “We are localizing the digital experience not only for language needs, but for cultural differences such as search formats including dropdown menus and rating scales, as well as locally relevant features including offers, hotel imagery and property features.”
The addition of SPG’s Chinese Android app complements Starwood’s full suite of digital options available to guests including iOS apps. Earlier this year, the company introduced an enhanced mobile web experience available in eight languages and designed to balance the beauty Starwood guests equate with each of the company’s unique brands and the ease of use required to make smart, fast bookings. As a company Starwood Hotels & Resorts added Russian and Arabic to the 33 languages it supports across all channels including Customer Contact Centers, independent property sites and branded web sites.
With the recent announcement of Element’s upcoming arrival in China, all of Starwood’s nine unique brands will be represented in the region and available for bookings through the new Chinese Android app. Today Starwood operates 121 hotels with more than 100 properties in the development pipeline making China the company’s second largest hotel market behind only the United States.
The new SPG App for Android is now available for free download at Google Play (play.google.com). In China, the app is available at all major Chinese Android APP Stores.
As part of the marketing effort, all Chinese properties will have Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled collateral so guests will be able to download the application just by tapping their NFC enabled phones on the collateral. Starwood will be the first brand that will have NFC enabled collateral widely available throughout all of Greater China.
Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) is an innovative, award-winning frequent traveler program that unites each of Starwood’s 9 distinctive hotel brands and includes more luxury hotels in more destinations around the world. SPG reinvented the hospitality loyalty landscape when it launched in 1999 with its breakthrough policy of no blackout dates, and over the years has continued its tradition of innovation with enhancements such as Cash + Points, SPG MomentsSM, and most recently Your24TM and SPG LifetimeTM. In addition to Free Night Awards at over 1,100 hotels and resorts and Award Flights on over 350 major airlines without blackout dates, the Starpoints® that members earn through SPG can be redeemed for access like to no other to experiences in music, sports and the arts through SPG Moments. SPG also has an ongoing commitment to digital innovation to meet the needs of today’s connected global traveler – from the SPG app for iPhone that utilizes state-aware technology to create a more personalized hotel stay to Starwood’s Best Rate Guarantee on SPG.com, to SPG’s integration within various social media platforms. Offerings such as these have helped SPG build a passionate member base among the world’s most frequent travelers. Learn more at spg.com and spg.com/moments and connect with us on twitter.com/spg, instagram.com/spg, facebook.com/spg, foursquare.com/spg, pinterest.com/spglife, and youtube.com/spg.
Source: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Global Communications
Starwood Communications, China
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