Hotel Online  Special Report
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Hilton Hotels Reports that Bookings Through its Websites Have Increased at a Steady 30% Year over Year Since 2002, and Accelerated to a 39% Increase in the 3rd Qtr of 2006
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Engaging Enhancements to Brand Websites Attract and Empower Guests

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., October 30, 2006 -- Hilton Hotels Corporation expects more than $2.5 billion in revenues generated from bookings on its proprietary websites for the full-year 2006 compared to $709 million five years ago, in 2002.  The company further reports that bookings through its websites have increased at a steady 30 percent year over year since 2002, and accelerated to a 39 percent increase in the third quarter of 2006 versus the third quarter of 2005.  This represents a 60 percent increase in revenues and a 43 percent increase in room nights for third quarter 2006 vs. prior year. 

Website bookings currently represent 17.2 percent of the company’s overall distribution of bookings, compared with 9.1 percent in 2002, making it the most dominant central delivery channel for the company.  In contrast, contribution of third-party online agencies has remained flat at 3 percent of reservations, and now represents just 15% of the company’s Internet business.

Websites contributing to the record-breaking increases in bookings include: www.hilton.com,  www.conradhotels.com, www.doubletree.com, www.embassysuites.com,  www.hamptoninn.com, www.hiltongardeninn.com, www.hgvc.com, www.homewoodsuites.com and www.scandichotels.com. 

“Our brand site bookings have increased at a staggering pace since 2002 and will continue to show compounded increases through the remainder of 2006 and beyond,” said Tom Keltner, president – brand performance and development group, Hilton Hotels Corporation.  “With its acquisition of the lodging assets of Hilton Group plc and a growing international presence, website bookings outside of North America represent the next frontier for significant growth, where we are in the process of implementing our successful online distribution strategy and enhanced features.”

“The Hilton Family of Hotels has made numerous enhancements to its websites that place more choice and control in the guest’s hands, making it even more convenient for them to find the right hotel accommodations and services at the best value,” said Bala Subramanian, senior vice president - distribution and brand integration for Hilton Hotels Corporation.  “From a business standpoint, these enhancements will enable our company to continue increasing the percentage of website bookings across all of its brands.  Already, our Hilton Family of Hotels websites collectively rank among some of the largest revenue-generating commercial/retail sites in the world, excluding those that generate advertising revenue.”

Recently Introduced Industry-Leading Website Enhancements

The following online booking features have been introduced or enhanced within the past 18 months, resulting in the increased bookings on the company’s brand websites:

  • e-Events™ is an industry first small group product that enables customers to go online and book anywhere from five to 25 Guest Rooms at any Hilton Family hotel with real-time, instant booking confirmation of guest rooms, meeting rooms, and food & beverage.  No RFP (request for proposal) is required – the entire transaction is on-line.  In addition, the e-Events product includes a Guest List Manager, that allows customers and meeting planners to book multiple reservations at a time, as well as view and manage their group guest lists/ reserved rooms.
  • Calendaring is another first in the hotel industry, which enables customers with flexible travel dates to view at-a-glance a single hotel’s best available rates and discounted advance purchase rates for their preferred length of stay across a 31-day span, and mix and match options that work best for their schedule.  Members of the Hilton HHonors guest reward program may also use this feature to view award redemption availability to more easily plan/book their reward vacations online.
  • Compare/Travel Cart features allow customers the option to compare hotels side by side, without the hassle of jumping from one page to the other, and the ability to store hotels in a “shopping cart” for future access.   The customer now has the appropriate level of information in an easy to read format, so they can more quickly make a well-informed purchasing decision. 
  • eCheck-in allows Gold and Diamond Hilton HHonors members the convenience of checking in on the Web from two to 36 hours prior to their arrival regardless of method of reservation.  They can pre-select a specific room with features that best meet their needs and print a confirmation in less than two minutes.  Upon arrival, guests simply stop at the desk or a lobby kiosk to collect their room key.  Hilton was the first hotel company to introduce online check-in across multiple brands, enabled by its proprietary OnQ platform.
  • Travel Agent Portal is a one-stop, dedicated portal where any travel agent planning a trip can easily find all the hotel information they need including images/virtual tours, access the full-array of available Hilton Family products, as well as other convenient resources and agent services (such as the Unlimited Budget® travel agent incentive program, real-time commission inquiry).
  • Weddings Portal offers an easy and uniquely tailored experience for wedding planners and their guests, available on each of the Hilton Family of Hotels Websites.  Features of the portal include event planning resources such as Wedding Checklist, Banquet Space Calculator, Request Pricing, the ability to reserve and confirm guest rooms, and manage your invitees through your own Personalized Online Group that also includes Guest List Manager.
In addition to the above-mentioned features, Hilton continues to evolve its websites based on customer input.  Last week’s launch of redesigned brand home pages include many customer designed enhancements including improvements in search, reservations, navigation and access to specials/promotions all of which add up to more guest control, more choice, greater flexibility, ease of use, and speed.  Please visit selected brand websites’ News & Updates section to enjoy a website tour.

Encouraging loyalty to its brand websites, Hilton Hotels Corporation introduced Our Best Rates.  Guaranteed. in 2003. If consumers who book confirmed reservations for a Hilton Family hotel stay within the U.S., having booked their reservation through any of the Hilton Family booking channels – (i.e. brand websites, Hilton Reservations Worldwide toll-free reservations or directly at a Hilton Family hotel) and find a lower publicly available rate on some other booking channel within 24 hours of making the reservation, the Hilton Family of Hotels will match it, plus give the guest a $50 American Express® Gift Cheque.* 

Hilton Hotels Corporation (NYSE:HLT) is the leading global hospitality company, with more than 2,800 hotels and 490,000 rooms in more than 80 countries, including 150,000 team members worldwide.  The company owns, manages or franchises a hotel portfolio of some of the best known and highly regarded brands, including Hilton®, Conrad®, Coral by Hilton®, Doubletree®, Embassy Suites Hotels®, Hampton Inn®, Hampton Inn & Suites®, Hilton Garden Inn®, Hilton Grand Vacations™, Homewood Suites by Hilton®, Scandic and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection™.

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Contact:

Kendra Walker
kendra_walker@hilton.com
  310-205-4545

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Also See: Hilton Family of Hotels Rolls Out Multiple Website Enhancements - New Portals and Search Specials; Enhancements to Brand Websites Empower Guests to Research and Book Specialized Stays; Shop & Compare Prior to Booking a Reservation / March 2006

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