women at hotel front desk

KAYAK Builds a Hotel Management App

Helping Independent Hotels Compete With Larger Rivals

Travel search engine KAYAK (BKNG) is building an app aimed at helping independent hotel owners offer digital services to compete with their larger rivals. Through the KAYAK app, guests at independent hotels will be able to check in, lock their rooms, request food or fresh towels, and more.

Hotel giants like Hilton (HLT) and Marriott (MAR) have apps with the features that KAYAK’s app will offer. But until now, most small, independent hotels have not had the resources to build these kinds of systems in-house.

Rolling Out the App in Miami

Millions of people already have the KAYAK app on their phones for booking travel. Now they will be able to use it for other purposes once they arrive at their destinations.

KAYAK will first roll out the app at the KAYAK Miami Beach hotel—a rebranded property which is reopening after being shuttered for about a year. Life House, a boutique hotel operator partnering with KAYAK, will manage the art-deco style property. As it prepares to launch the system in Miami, KAYAK is also exploring partnerships with other hotels in locations from Los Angeles to Berlin.

Travel Companies Look to Gain Ground in New Sectors

The travel industry has been battered by the pandemic, but now companies are beginning to make plans for a future when customers may feel comfortable returning to their pre-pandemic habits. Recently, a number of travel companies have been trying to expand beyond their normal operations through acquisitions and new initiatives.

For example, Airbnb (ABNB) has started listing hotel rooms on its site and it purchased the hotel-booking platform HotelTonight. Meanwhile, Marriott has made moves into the short term rental business. KAYAK’s entry into the hotel operations sphere is another example of this trend.

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