Accor has announced plans for a rollout of its new digital room key technology.

The group has been piloting the Accor Key solution at selected properties in North America, Europe and Asia, allowing guests to receive their room key through the Accor digital key app when arriving at their hotel.

The key also provides access to meeting rooms where appropriate, as well as to floors via lifts, and is deactivated automatically when the guest departs.

Accor says that the service will be available in all new Accor hotels opening this year, and it intends to rollout the technology to 500 properties by the end of the year, and at least 50 per cent of its portfolio within the next five years.

It is not the first hotel group to offer access to keys via smartphones – Hilton began the rollout of its Digital Key solution back in 2015.

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Accor is partnering with cloud-based mobile key and access management tool Stay My Way for its digital key service.

The firm’s founder Faustino Fernandez said that a recent Deloitte study showed that “60 per cent of travellers are more likely to stay at a hotel that allowed contactless check in and the ability to use a smartphone as a room key – 16 per cent even say it’s a ‘must have’”.

Fernandez added that demand for the technology “is even higher for frequent travellers”.

Commenting on the rollout, Floor Bleeker, chief information officer at Accor, said:

“We always strive to adopt technology which can improve the overall guest experience. Guests increasingly seek contact-light travel and hotel experiences. Therefore, the easy to operate and highly practical application will provide a streamlined process for our guests.”