Hilton, the hotel chain with 5,000 properties in 103 countries, said its Digital Key to unlock guest rooms is available at 2,000 hotels worldwide for Hilton Honors members who have the loyalty program's app on their smartphones, according to a statement. The technology will be available at more than half of its hotels by the end of the year.
The Hilton Honors app lets guests book a room, check in, choose their desired room from a digital floor plan set against Google Maps and request additional items to be in their room upon arrival.
Hilton last month partnered with travel management company Travel and Transport to integrate their mobile applications and make them more seamless for travelers. The app for the hotel chain's Hilton Honors loyalty program, which has 60 million members, can be accessed directly from Travel and Transport's Dash Mobile app.
Hilton keeps expanding its mobile technology for a greater number of hotel properties, meeting a consumer demand for more robust digital services. Research shows that many business travelers prefer using self-service technology to manage their travel. For managed travel programs, one way travel buyers can help drive compliance is to recommend apps for their travelers. The opportunity is there for managed travel platforms to integrate technologies that will help business travelers throughout their entire trip.
Hilton is also ramping up its presence on digital booking platforms, having integrated with TripAdvisor for instant booking earlier this year.
Mobile travel sales in the U.S. will grow about 17% this year from 2016 to about $76 billion, comprising 40% of all digital travel sales, according to an eMarketer study released in June. Total digital travel sales in the U.S. will reach $189.6 billion, including airline, car rental, cruise, hotel and transportation.
The vast majority of travelers believe airline apps improve the travel experience, according to a study by Helpshift, a developer of in-app customer service software. The study found that 83% of American travelers and 95% of airline loyalty members appreciate airline apps, MediaPost reported.