Zonetail: An App for All Things Local
Zonetail Gives You Info about what’s Around the Hotel
By Danielle Aihini
The Zonetail app taps into the desire to travel to new places but to explore like a local.
Priding themselves on what they call ‘anchored local’, Zonetail provides property information, access, interaction, and contextually relevant content about the surrounding neighborhood for any traveler looking for more information or places to visit in the area.
“Zonetail is the world’s first free mobile app and platform, custom branded to hotels, which connects guests to the full range of hotel services and businesses in the surrounding neighborhood,” according to a Zonetail press release.
Pull out your smart technology and download one of the many free apps the company offers with a click of a button and find information on hotels, condos, property amenities, restaurants, stores, services, entertainment, and attractions all nearby with location services to identify where you are on a map.
GoNOMAD’s Test of Zonetail
I downloaded the Baymont Inn & Suites Zonetail app and had the option of searching hotel information with a provided link to make a reservation and a list of the front desk and hotel amenities and services from the fitness center, if you’re feeling brave on a vacation, to dry cleaning which is offered on-site.
With the Explore page, I searched through attractions, shopping, take out and restaurants all in the area with location services turned on in my settings.
The company launched in 2013 with offices in Toronto, Ontario, and Palo Alto, California. The app is available worldwide with 100 hotel partners evenly split between the US and Canada with a few offshore. Zonetail recently signed 1,800 condominium buildings, which includes 35% of the Greater Toronto Area market, according to President and CEO Mark Holmes.
Tom Tittel, Vice President of Operations of Silverbirch Hotels, started using Zonetail in 2014.
“The app immediately provided us with mobile identity and incredibly simple access for our guests to make everything from reservations, general inquiries, special requests and to feel comfortable in the downtown neighborhood while using customized features of the Zonetail app,” said Tittel.
Holmes brings fifteen years of experience to the company after owning and managing Kingsway Agencies, the birthplace of Zonetail.
Kingsway Agencies began in 1960 and offered sliding devices to attach to hotel guest phones displaying hotel information, amenities, and services, as well as local area advertising. Zonetail is the modern version of the business with targeted sponsored content on a free mobile platform.
“Anything they [travelers] used to have to go through a landline or at the front desk they can now do on their own phone whenever they want and from wherever they are,” said Holmes.
“Location-based apps such as Yelp, and Trip Advisor provide unstructured, general area information. Zonetail is anchored to the places where people live, stay, work, and congregate.”
Many, Many Apps
When I searched Zonetail on my iPhone, the list of apps seemed to go on forever. From Cambridge Suites Toronto to the Quality Inn Pooler Savannah to Port Inn Portsmouth, hotels, and attractions from places all across the country and Canada are listed in a number of different Zonetail apps. I find that rather than downloading a new hotel or condo brand’s app each time, the information would be easier and much more convenient if it were all in one.
With the company’s content management system, hotels and condos can load content onto their app in real-time. Advertisers can change any content by day, for a specific occasion or whenever they want to take ‘advantage of contextual relevance and time-sensitivity’ with the system.
“You could almost say it [the app] represents the digital version of a comprehensive in-room guest directory, right in the palm of the guest,” said Tittel. “The bonus features such as maps, attractions, local favorites, and the ability to make future reservations top it off.” The easy-to-use app, creative team members, no cost to produce and maintain the page and positive reviews from guests is what makes joining Zonetail well-worth it for Tittel.
Zonetail is working to establish and own the anchored local category and grow the company into a ubiquitous presence in the hotel and condo market.
The most rewarding part of it all for Holmes has been seeing the idea of ‘anchored local’ become reality, “Taking what we believe to be a solid human insight and need, building a product to fulfill that need and watching interest grow throughout North America,” he said.
Read reviews from consumers about using Zonetail on the Apple store.