When Starwood introduced keyless entry in 10 hotels in 2014, it was hailed as the next logical move in the digitization of travel; the service was expected to quickly roll out across Starwood’s extensive network of hotels.
Yesterday, almost two years later, Starwood issued a news release with an update on keyless entry. After all this time, only around 150 additional hotels have been outfitted with keyless-entry systems.
While Starwood boasts that it “has been quick to roll out the new functionality around the world to 36,000 doors,” the reality is that just over 10 percent of its 1,300 hotels have adopted the technology. At that rate, keyless entry won’t be a network-wide offering until 2030.
In spite of the notably slow adoption rate by its hotels, Starwood is upbeat about the service’s potential. “Innovation and personalization are at the center of everything we do, and we’re committed to making travel better for every SPG member by creating solutions for pain points that are custom-made for their mobile lifestyles. SPG Keyless is literally opening doors for SPG members.”
Keyless entry is unquestionably a neat technology, that Starwood deserves credit for spearheading. Now, if they could just get more hotels on board, faster …
Reader Reality Check
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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.