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Hotel Development Insider

  • DCH News Team

Hilton expands on-property messaging in bid to enhance guest experience

The company’s mobile messaging platform will be available across its entire portfolio by the end of 2024 to “support the growing need for frictionless travel.”

Jenna Walter Jan. 31, 2024

Dive Brief:

  • Hilton is expanding its mobile messaging platform portfolio-wide by the end of 2024, the company announced Tuesday. Guests at any of Hilton’s 7,000 hotels will be able to use the system to text the hotel, via the Hilton Honors app, SMS, WhatsApp and other messaging channels, for on-property requests. 

  • The system, developed in partnership with Kipsu, enables a “two-way, immediate exchange” between guests and hotel team members who can answer questions, address concerns, arrange experiences and more, according to Hilton. 

  • The system expansion aims to “support the growing need for frictionless travel” and introduce easier ways for guests to engage with hotel teams, Hilton said. 

Dive Insight:

Upon completion of the portfolio-wide expansion, guests at any Hilton property will be able to text their hotel for requests ranging from a toothbrush replacement to a late checkout. 

By expanding its mobile messaging platform to all of its hotels, Hilton is “creating an elevated and reliable experience” for its guests, who increasingly want to communicate with hotel team members via their mobile device, Chris Silcock, president of global brands and commercial services at Hilton, said in a statement. 

In 2023, the 3,618 Hilton properties using Kipsu facilitated over 10.5 million conversations with nearly 70 million messages, Hilton shared in a release. And of guests who used the messaging platform, 70% indicated that it improved their overall satisfaction with their stay, the company said. 

The expansion is Hilton’s latest bid to create a more seamless travel experience for its guests, Silcock noted. According to Hilton’s 2024 Trends Report, 76% of global travelers appreciate travel apps that reduce the friction and stress of travel.

Hilton joins other hotel companies integrating messaging technology to enhance the guest experience, including Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

In September, Wyndham launched a platform featuring AI-assisted messaging for guests to text hotels directly with questions about their stay. Also that month, IHG Hotels & Resorts unveiled a cloud-based digital booking platform aimed at simplifying the process. 

Online travel companies, like Expedia and Kayak, have similarly adopted AI-powered chatbots to streamline travel planning and booking.

Original article by Jenna Walters can be found on Hotel Dive here:

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