A well-respected line of hotels is entrusting at least part of its customers’ experience to Microsoft. Sheraton Hotels & Resorts announced today that a new online destination, dubbed the "Sheraton Guest Portal," will be powered by Bing.
This arrangement is supposed to go well beyond putting the Sheraton logo somewhere on a modified version of the Bing homepage. It isn’t meant to result in some one-size-fits-all site for all of the Sheratons around the world, either.
Instead, Sheraton Hotels promised in a statement, "[G]uests will find constantly updated relevant content, specific to each Sheraton location, such as local maps and the top search results for area restaurants, attractions, special events and services."
This is a risky move, since few vacationers want to waste more time than necessary using a computer. And pretty much no one wants to receive bad directions or get sent to a substandard attraction. But that speaks to the confidence Sheraton Hotels has in Bing. The company’s indeed labeled the new portal a "signature component" of "Sheraton’s $6 billion global effort to enhance the brand and differentiate the guest experience at properties worldwide."
Plus, the circumstances mean Bing has the opportunity to make a great first impression on new users.
In any event, Microsoft and Sheraton Hotels did not discuss any financial details relating to the deal.