NB: This is a guest post by Pieter de Villiers, CEO of Clickatell, a US-based specialist in mass-micro messaging to organisations in more than 220 countries and territories.
The penultimate list includes examples from hotels, restaurants and travel health services.
51. An SMS emergency alert system was installed at the Four Points Sheraton hotel in Belgium. The software is integrated with hotel’s fire and technical systems that monitor fire detectors, emergency doors and temperature sensors.
52. The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) in the UK launched a SMS text message service that alerts its members of serious incidents. The service sends text messages to alert senior ABTA member staff of emergency events affecting their staff, customers or travel destinations, as well as changes to the situation.
53. The HappySun mobile service used satellites to deliver the UV index to cell phones via text message. The service also provided information for tourists on how they can protect themselves from UV radiation, sea surface temperatures and seawater transparency for divers.
54. SnoCountry, a consortium of New England's leading ski areas, use text messaging to deliver last minute and seasonal offers to active skiers and snowboarders. With the region's notoriously fast-changing weather, it is important for the ski areas be able to immediately inform skiers and snowboarders of appealing snow conditions. The ski areas now invite skiers and snowboarders to text in and join a mobile database to receive weather updates and promotions.
55. In 2004 Adventure Weather distributed free SMS weather reports for all on the mountains during the Everest and Himalayan season. The forecasts were created by meteorologists, analyzed by climbers, emailed to base camps, and then SMS'd in shorter versions to the satellite phones used by climbers in higher camps.
56. Golf fanatics can now ensure they never miss a day on the green with information on the latest weather and course conditions via SMS from the Club Messenger service from Clever Ltd. Golf club members can avoid wasted journeys by using Club Messenger, which provides up-todate information on weather and course conditions.
57. With the outbreak of H1N1 swine flu, US-based CellPhones.org created a text message service whereby people could text PIGFLU to 41411 and receive updates as news developed about the swine flu pandemic. Daily updates included CDC/WHO updates, information about new outbreaks and other information from health authorities.
58. Britons travelling abroad to exotic destinations are now able to receive immediate and free travel health information regarding malaria. The service, funded by GlaxoSmithKline Travel Health as part of the Malaria Awareness Campaign and developed by iPLATO, allows travellers to text in the name of their destination country to receive relevant information about the malaria prevalence in that country.
59. StarHub and the Singapore Tourism Board as a quick and easy way to trace people in the event of a SARS outbreak in Singapore launched the “SARS Contact Tracing SMS” text alert service.
60.HotelZone is one of the largest hotel booking agencies in Europe. They use Clickatell to deliver their booking confirmations via SMS, enabling HotelZone's customers to receive reservation codes, hotel names and addresses and arrival and departure dates.
61. SafariNow, a South African online accommodation-booking service uses SMS, along with email notifications, to alert accommodation providers of a new online booking enquiry. The service has resulted in quicker turnaround times for converting enquiries into confirmed reservations.
62. Malaysian hoteliers introduced mobileHOTEL – the SMS way to make room reservations. Users of mobilHotel need only text the participating hotel’s name, to a short code to get an instant reply from the hotel on rates and reservation confirmation.
63. Owners who have properties listed with Holiday Rentals Hub can have an SMS message sent to their mobile phone when someone makes an enquiry about any of their rental properties online.
64. Thai cellular provider Total Access Communication, provides a service that enables hotel operators to notify guests of incoming calls and messages via SMS, instead of reception staff handing them handwritten notes or leaving messages on the voice mail service available in their rooms.
65. The 'W To Go' service uses SMS to communicate important service messages between W Hotels staff and their guests. Upon check-in, guests are asked to participate in the W To Go program, which enables them to receive text messages from the hotel directly to their mobile phone during their stay, even if they are not on the hotel premises. Guests are automatically disabled on the service 24 hours after their stay, allowing for any continuing messages like the return of forgotten personal items. The service informs guests of when their room is ready after check-in, when a package has arrived, when their dry cleaning has been delivered and more. Guests can also confirm or change reservations for restaurants, spa appointments and other hotel services.
66.The Fairmont Dubai uses SMS to provide specialist event information to guests or food and beverage specials.
67. Casino giant Harrahs is running a mobile coupon pilot as part of its customer loyalty program. Guests of the selected Harrah's properties sign up to receive special personalized offers as mobile coupons sent via text message. These mobile coupons can be redeemed at the Harrah's properties using bCode's self-service media plane scanners.
68. Gunstock Mountain Resort in New Hampshire implemented a promotional SMS strategy to promote on-mountain specials. Loyal Gunstock customers could text in promotional keywords for up to four on-mountain deals per day, e.g., lunch and happy hour specials, discounted tickets, apparel and more. Vouchers were sent back to the mobile phones via SMS. In order to redeem the vouchers guests could show the code on their mobile phone display, eliminating the need for clipping and carrying coupons.
69. Boiling Crab, a Cajun seafood restaurant chain, with locations in Los Angeles, Dallas and San Jose, use SMS to eliminate queues. The QLess service sends reservation information to customers in order to reduce turn-aways and no-shows.
70. Nutritional advice web site Diet.com debuted a SMS service called "Nutrition on the Go", which lets customers request nutritional information for foods at restaurants nationwide by sending a text message. A customer can send a text message with the restaurant’s name and the menu item to a short code and receive a text message back with the nutritional information for that menu item.
71. Kosher-ny.com launched a service in New York City that helps users to find a kosher restaurant by sending a text message with their location, to a short code.
72. Muslims can get confirmation on the halal status of a product (food that is permissible according to Islamic law) via SMS, thanks to the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia. By texting the word “halal” and the bar code on the product packaging to a short code, users can instantly confirm the halal status of the product.
73. The Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (Sassi) set up service called Sassi FishSMS, which enables diners to SMS the name of the fish species on the menu to find out more about the degree to which the fish may be endangered or threatened.
74. US marine conservation group, Blue Ocean Institute provides a similar service to FishSMS. Users text the word FISH, followed by the name of the seafood in question, such as tuna, to a short code. The service covers more than 90 species, and suggests alternatives to options that pose environmental concerns.
75. A service from BuyYourWine.com lets Dutch consumers can send an SMS to request wines prices and delivery details. In the US, WineZap offers a similar service. If someone emails or texts them the vintage and wine name, WineZap will email or text them the current low, high and average prices for that wine. If a user adds their zip code, WineZap includes a list of the nearest retailers that stock the wine, as well as their prices.
The final installment tomorrow features examples around events, tourist information and more.
This is a guest post by Pieter de Villiers, CEO of Clickatell, a US-based specialist in mass-micro messaging to organisations in more than 220 countries and territories.