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Hilton Announces Major Changes to its Loyalty Program

Hilton has announced sweeping changes to its loyalty program, letting members combine points with family and friends and use those points to shop at Amazon.com. The program will also get a rebrand. It will now be known as Hilton Honors vs. HHonors.

In fact, the entire company is getting a new identity and logo. Once known as Hilton Worldwide, it will just be Hilton from now on.
Hilton says the rebranding is evidence that the company has become more “simplified and streamlined.” The company recently spun-off its real estate and timeshare businesses. But the changes that affect consumers the most come in the form of a revamped loyalty program. The program has 60 million members.

The highlights of the new program are:
• Hilton will launch Shop with Points at Amazon.com this summer.
• Starting in April, Hilton Honors members will be able to combine their points with up to 10 friends or family members for free. That means that 11 members could pool their points for award nights for group trips.
• Beginning late February, members will be able to use a combination of points and money for an award night. The Hilton Honors Points & Money slider will let members decide how many points they want to use for a stay, and there will be no blackout dates.
• In March, those members who have reached elite Diamond status and cannot travel for an extended period of time for whatever reason will be able to receive a one-time, one-year extension of their status. Typically, they would lose their status if they don’t log any stays in a year.

Hilton has 14 brands and more than 4,800 properties around the world.

Posted by Jody Victor's Crew on

Hilton Experimenting with New Hotel Brands

Fortune reports Hilton is planning to create several new hotel brands in the coming years to fill space in its current portfolio. The most eye-catching announcement was the plan for an urban micro-brand, which the company will look to formally introduce sometime next year.

The rooms would likely be between 125 and 150 square feet with an emphasis placed on connectability, flexibility, and a local vibe.

“We have a lot of customers that want to now be in these urban environments, that even with our lowest-priced products can’t afford to be in these cities, so we’re giving up a lot of business. We’re not getting customers in that environment through our system early in their travel lives,” Christopher Nassetta, Hilton CEO said in an interview at the Skift Global Forum in New York Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Hilton is planning a new five-star soft brand, “Hilton Plus.” Hilton is beta-testing “the connected room,” which is being used currently in some hotels. This smart room would know a traveler’s preferences, among its features.

Hilton’s new hotels will also include trendy restaurant and bar areas to attract locals. That, the company believes, will help travelers feel like they’re connecting with their destination rather than simply observing it.

“It’s very trendy in a sense, sort of like a hostel on steroids. But a lot of steroids,” Nassetta said of the new hotel concept, what he called an “urban micro brand.” The CEO first mentioned the ultra-small hotel idea in 2016.

The chain could launch the connected room globally in 2018.