Luxury hotel chain connects concierges to Foursquare

Luxury hotel brand Ritz-Carlton is to put the knowledge of its global concierge team on Foursquare, it has announced.

In a move which the company claims is a first for the luxury industry, concierges from all 75 Ritz-Carlton hotels are to take to the location-based social networking site to offer tips on their locale to travelers.

Crucially, the Marriott-owned brand claims that its staff won't be advertising their own properties, instead choosing to focus outside the hotels on the best things to do and see in the destinations they represent.

The list will be populated with more tips every week, says Ritz-Calrton, with current tips including information on Red Square in Moscow ("Moscow's iconic cathedral and most famous square are, well, not very red. The reason? The Russian word krasnaya can mean either red or beautiful.") and the Dunia Fantasi theme park in Jakarta ("On weekends Dunia Fantasi is jam-packed with visitors. During the week lines can be shorter").

To access the tips, Foursquare users can follow Ritz-Carlton on the site or check into a location which has been featured by the brand in the past, where the tip will be visible.

It will be interesting to see how consumers react to Ritz-Carlton's Foursquare push - as of June 28, the brand has just over 500 followers on Foursquare, relatively few compared to other chains such as Aloft, which boasts over 9,800 fans.

It's also another example of brands trying to leverage the knowledge of their concierges to reach a wider audience than just hotel guests, in no small part thanks to the growth of new technology which makes it easier than ever to connect with new customers.

InterContinental, which offers a popular Concierge Insider Guides iPad app offering destinations insights for free, has gained widespread praise for its efforts to expand concierge knowledge outside of hotels - it also offers a concierge-curated website and video channel on YouTube.

Follow Ritz-Carlton to get tips on Foursquare: https://foursquare.com/ritzcarlton

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