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Hilton Hotels uses mobile to improve customer service

Hilton Hotels has launched a new mobile Web application giving iPhone users accessibility to the hotel chain's Internet features.

The new mobile services for German and British users, including the ability to book from the iPhone, were launched in conjunction with Dublin-based Mobile Travel Technologies Ltd. Users can access and change bookings and view hotel images and information.

"Hilton has launched the innovative mobile service to ensure customers have the best possible means of booking and managing their hotel accommodation, with ease," said Geraldine Calpin, vice president of global ecommerce services for Hilton Hotels in Britain.

The mobile service has integration with the hotel company's Hilton HHonors for the benefit of Hilton loyalty club members and a Hilton downloadable application will soon be available to British users.

The downloaded application will give users three ways to search for a hotel: text search, country or city, or by current location with the iPhone's GPS capability showing a list of nearby Hilton hotels.

"In this digital age it's important we respond to the new needs of customers and now we can offer them the convenience to select and book a hotel, access and change bookings and view hotel images and information, whilst away from their PC," Ms. Calpin said.

The technology was designed to be usable by both high-end and low-end software.

"The technology provides an optimized view for each device," said Gerry Samuels, founder and executive director of MTT, Dublin. "We took the lowest common denominator approach, it's optimized for low to high-end and in the U.K. over and above we're providing a genuine iPhone experience."

"It's all about convenience, to service road warriors when they are away from PC," he said.

The new Hilton Hotel British and German mobile Web application joins the American version powered by Usablenet. Similarly, hotel chains like the Hyatt, Wyndam and Marriot all use Usablenet technology.

Wyndham Worldwide Corp. launched mobile sites for its Wyndham Hotel Group to address growing consumer demand for mobile commerce and to offer a more complete travel resource to customers.

Travelers now have access to Wyndham Hotel Group properties through 10 newly created branded mobile Web sites. Sites were created for Wyndham's Ramada, Days Inn, Super 8, Wingate by Wyndham, Baymont Inn & Suites, Microtel Inns & Suites, Hawthorn Suites, Howard Johnson, Travelodge and Knights Inn brands (see story).

"By launching local mobile services in the U.K. and Germany, we create a new distribution channel for our products and at the same time improve customer service, as customers enjoy the convenience of making and changing bookings on-the-go," Ms. Calpin said.