Digital concierge for hospitality sector

julie-grieveTravel technology entrepreneur Julie Grieve is launching a digital concierge for Scotland’s hospitality and holiday industry.

Criton goes live at a tourism conference in Edinburgh today and is the UK’s first self-build app service for the sector.

It gives Scotland’s 12,000 holiday lets, serviced apartments, guest houses and B&Bs, and the UK’s 81,000 holiday properties the chance to connect with the tech savvy traveller, by making all guest information available at the touch of a screen anytime, anywhere.

Formerly chief executive of serviced apartment group Lateral City and serviced office group Abbey Business Centres, Ms Grieve has self-funded the development of the new tech service from the proceeds of her shareholding in Abbey, which was sold in 2011. 

Now based at the Codebase incubator in Edinburgh and with the backing of Scottish Enterprise in the form of an innovation award, she plans to follow the Scotland unveiling of Criton with a launch in London next week for the UK serviced apartment sector.

Criton hopes to attract 5% of the UK properties within five years, delivering a £3-5m turnover.

The app is already China-ready in line with Scotland’s ambitions to attract the growing number of Chinese travellers.

She said: “The use of smartphones and tablets in the hospitality sector has created a new platform for operators to interact with their clients in a variety of ways.

“We know that the way Millennials consume information and interact is entirely different to the current demographic.

“With a background of trust reviews driving consumer booking behaviour, introducing technology which drives reviews and improves the guest experience at all touchpoints will become crucial to continued success.

“It could be argued that this is perhaps even more so within the short term accommodation market because guests require more operational information than a standard hotel room guest to enjoy their stay.

“Finding your Airbnb or serviced apartment is not always straight forward especially if your guest is arriving late at night. And what if they can’t work out the heating system when they get there?

“Technology can help provide the information in a format which suits the consumer and by improving the user information protect the asset as well as improving the user experience.”

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