Hotel Brands Use Apps To Help Travelers Make ‘Meaningful Connections’
By Sharelle Burt
Just about anything can happen at a hotel. Whether you have meetings, want to party, or go to sleep, hotels can accommodate you, which is why they have become pillars in the matchmaking industry. By matchmaking, we don’t just mean dating. Some of the greatest connections have happened at a hotel bar or in the lobby.
The Moxy Hotels, a part of the Marriott brand, has teamed up with matchmaker app Bumble to launch ‘BumbleSpot #attheMoxy.’ The BumbleSpots are verified places within the hotel for users to meet their Bumble connections. Primarily known for dating, Bumble, which has over 42 million members, has extended into becoming a safe business networking platform as well. Moxy and Bumble are looking to create meaningful connections through the program. “It’s not just a hotel,” Moxy senior global brand director Vicki Poulos said. “It’s more about creating an environment that enables meaningful connections and builds relationships.”
Marriott isn’t the only brand looking to cash in on the matchmaking industry. The Sydell Group hotels also announced a partnership with Bumble called Bumble BFF, geared towards female guests and travelers. Earlier this month, Sydell Group hosted brunches in Washington, D.C., Austin and Los Angeles to promote the new initiative. Bumble BFF users can attend. Boutique brand Generator created GenFriends, where users can “swipe” to “match” with other travelers. The Standard Hotel and LifeHouse also host similar apps. So what is it about the matchmaking lifestyle that’s causing hotels to get involved?
Generator’s Chief marketing officer Jason Rieff said apps like GenFriends can help solo travelers with loneliness. He was right. Since the launch, Generator has seen a 17 percent increase in the number of solo travelers staying with them since 2015. Social Network by LifeHouse encourages guests to interact with each other as well as designated local residents who have been verified by Life House. For Line hotels, community engagement was one of the main reasons they decided to partner with Bumble and create BumbleBFF. The same goes for Moxy. Poulos said it was the like-minded values that made them team up.
But are the apps safe? The idea of meeting strangers while on vacation seems dangerous, but all the brands have confirmed that the apps are safe. GenFriends users are asked permission to share their location or before uploading pictures. Users can also send complaints from the app directly to the hotel manager or marketing team. LifeHouse verifies locals allowed to be on Social Network, and guests must have a confirmed booking as well as a background check to gain access.