From Digital Keys To Contactless Funds, Right here’s How Hilton’s Shopper‑Centric Tech Improvements Are Delivering A Frictionless Journey Expertise

Vacationers are again on the highway and within the air in file numbers, placing the journey {industry} on the return path to pre-pandemic enterprise. Journey’s comeback has not been with out issues, nonetheless, as overwhelming demand has strained the under-resourced sector. 

Based on a brand new Hilton report, “The 2023 Traveler: Rising Traits which might be Innovating the Journey Expertise,” individuals more and more need a “frictionless” move all through their journey journey in 2023 by self-service choices that provide better alternative – comfort and management – whereas sustaining the human contact of personalised service. 

The 2023 Traveler

Discover the report and entry multimedia together with pictures, b-roll, truth sheets and extra.


“As individuals begin planning their 2023 travels, they’ve advised us they’re looking for immersive and stress-free experiences — with extra comfort and personalization than ever earlier than,” mentioned Chris Silcock, government vice chairman and chief industrial officer, Hilton. “That’s why we’re centered on doing no matter we will to make journey simpler by eradicating friction factors that may create frustration and compromise the standard of a visit.”

For Hilton – which was just lately named “Finest Resort App” by World Traveler in its GT Examined Reader Survey Awards and obtained a 2022 Resort Visionary Award from Hospitality Expertise – which means accelerating its digital innovation efforts to make sure a seamless keep for visitors beginning properly earlier than check-in with on-line reserving choices and app-based efficiencies.

On the coronary heart of Hilton’s enhanced on-line reserving choices and app-based efficiencies is a newly modernized model of the corporate’s Central Reservation System (CRS). The up to date system, which launched in Could 2020 on the peak of the pandemic, made Hilton the primary main lodge firm to run its complete reservation system within the cloud. An in-house staff spent a number of years creating the next-gen CRS, which helped Hilton considerably cut back prices and increase income administration capabilities whereas concurrently enhancing the reserving expertise for visitors by a number of new options. 

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For instance, Confirmed Connecting Rooms by Hilton – an industry-first characteristic that enables visitors to order adjoining rooms at time of reserving – has been an enormous hit with visitors wanting to remain near household and mates. Different new search filters additionally permit visitors to rapidly discover and guide rooms based mostly on their particular person journey preferences. Three just lately added choices— “pet-friendly,” “free breakfast” and “Electrical Car (EV) chargers” – had been among the many hottest filters on and the Hilton Honors cell app that led to confirmed stays in 2022. The EV charging filter alone resulted in additional than 30% of customers finishing a reserving. 

Blink EV Charger - Hilton
Blink EV Charger – Hilton

Expertise expedites the check-in course of as properly, and helps preserve visitors comfy and linked throughout their keep. Use of the Digital Key within the Hilton Honors app – which ensures a frictionless check-in expertise by enabling vacationers to bypass the entrance desk, select their room and unlock their room door straight from their telephone with no plastic keys required – was up virtually 45% in the course of the pandemic with about 17 million keys created globally throughout 2022. A brand new characteristic additionally lets Hilton Honors members share their Digital Key with members of the family and mates. 

Friends additionally anticipate expertise to ship the identical degree of personalised service that they obtain from staff members, beginning with onscreen in-room welcome messages – as supplied by Hilton’s Linked Room Expertise – or custom-made messaging through the Honors App.

“Our aim is to supply seamless connectivity that meets visitors the place they’re – whether or not they need to view content material from their favourite streaming platform on their in-room TV, message somebody on the app, or ship a web-based request to a staff member within the foyer,” mentioned Dan Morton, vice chairman, visitor expertise, Hilton.

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With COVID-19 ushering in a brand new period of expertise, extra individuals anticipate comfort at their fingertips – utilizing their telephone to buy, pay and navigate their day by day – however additionally they need employees available to fulfill their wants and clear up issues.

Importantly, Hilton’s digital improvements release on-property employees to allow them to be totally current throughout in-person interactions with visitors, additional enhancing the visitor expertise. “When the pandemic hit, we knew we wanted to behave quick,” mentioned Mike Gathright, senior vice chairman, buyer expertise, Hilton. “We rapidly accelerated our efforts to make sure our visitors had seamless and contactless experiences around the globe – earlier than arrival, at check-in and of their visitor room – however in methods which might be all the time linked to the private contact and heat hospitality of our staff members.”