Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Hilton expands on‑property messaging as changing traveler communication preferences

Late check-out request. Extra pillows. Wine glasses. Replacement toothbrush. Just send a text. To support the growing need for frictionless travel and introduce easier ways for guests to engage with hotel teams, Hilton is expanding its mobile messaging platform to its more than 7,000 Hilton properties worldwide by the end of 2024. The system, developed in partnership with Kipsu, the industry-leader in real-time engagement, will enable messaging via the Hilton Honors app, SMS, WhatsApp and other messaging channels. The digital messaging capability will enable a two-way, immediate exchange between guests and hotel teams to answer questions, address concerns, arrange experiences and more.

“At Hilton, we have had a long-term commitment to digitally transform the travel experience and create a more seamless journey for guests, from booking to billing,” said Chris Silcock, president, Global Brands and Commercial Services, Hilton. “Travelers’ preference to communicate with hotel team members via their mobile device is growing. By expanding this capability to all of our hotels around the world, we are meeting our guests where they are and creating an elevated and reliable experience for every guest during their stay.” 

This digital expansion spotlights a dramatic shift in traveler communication preferences. The first Hilton property launched with Kipsu messaging in 2013 and had more than 40 percent of guests respond to the hotel welcome message. In 2023 alone, 3,618 Hilton properties using Kipsu facilitated over 10.5 million conversations with nearly 70 million messages, leading to 70 percent of guests who used messaging indicating that it improved the overall satisfaction of their stay experience. 

“Since implementing the mobile messaging system, we are able to respond to guest inquiries and requests faster than ever before, ensuring they have everything they need prior to arrival and throughout their stay,” said Kathy Heneghan, general manager, Embassy Suites by Hilton Chicago Downtown Magnificent Mile. 

“This partnership aligns perfectly with our mission to offer guests an unparalleled experience, as well as working with our hospitality brand customers as long-term trusted business partners,” said Chris Smith, CEO and co-founder, Kipsu. “Collaborating with Hilton enables us to bring our best-of-breed messaging solutions to a wider audience, ensuring that hotel guests across the globe enjoy a seamless and tailored experience.”

As featured in Hilton’s 2024 Trends Report, 80 percent of global travelers expect to be able to easily integrate personal devices with on-property technology. Hilton’s expansion of mobile messaging is one of many digital innovations helping to enable more seamless and personalized stays – from Hilton Honors Digital Key, which was downloaded more than 12.3 million times last year, to Hilton’s Connected Room Experience, which was enabled for more than 17 million guests staying in the more than 135,000 tech-enabled rooms in 2023. 

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