LAS VEGAS -- will enable its customers to check in and out of hotels on the website's mobile app, which will also generate an electronic key on their phone allowing them to enter their room.

Neha Parikh, senior vice president of global brands and retail, announced the news during the Expedia Partner conference at the Bellagio here.

According to Parikh, 67% of consumers felt a hotel having that capability would be a deciding factor when picking a place to stay.

"People are telling us this is important," she said.

The feature on the app was developed with Zaplox, a mobile key service provider, Parikh said.

"We think this is a win-win," she said, noting the function will reduce costs for hotels as well as provide a service that will please their guests.

She also predicted it will drive demand for hotels that offer the service.

The app function is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2017, Parikh said.

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