Hilton Aims to Close Gap in Sharing Economy

MCLEAN, VA—The sharing economy is growing exponentially and Hilton Worldwide, Inc. is riding the wave as it expands its digital offerings in partnership with Uber, a ride-sharing technology platform, via the HHonors app.

Travelers want to stay connected to technology, feel like a local, be informed—and do it all with ease. That’s a tall order for hotels, but Hilton Worldwide says its listening to consumers’ needs. “Today’s consumers are clamoring for a more personalized experience,” explained Rich DiStefano, senior director, mobile products at Hilton Worldwide. “They want what they want, when and where they want it. They also love the personalization and uniqueness the sharing economy often offers.”

For Hilton, the strategic partnership is an opportunity to take the hassle out of vacation planning (and enjoying). “One way we’re doing so is through partnering with Uber to equip our guests with two new digital tools: Ride Reminder and Local Scene. Our guests are reliant on their smartphones as their top travel tool, and through our partnership, we’re making it easier for our guests to navigate and explore unfamiliar cities,” he said.

The HHonors app’s Ride Reminder tool provides auto-notifications to remind travelers to arrange transportation to and from the hotel with the Hilton hotel address already set. For guests seeking restaurants or nightlife, the brand’s Local Scene feature provides a detailed list for select cities based on their drop-off/pick-up popularity with Uber riders, through the app.

Hilton sees value in providing digital tools to empower guests with the information they are seeking for authentic experiences. “More and more travelers self-identify as ‘foodies’ and view dining as a unique way to explore the local culture. That’s the goal of Local Scene: we want to help our HHonors members experience their destination like a local, while eliminating some of the hassle that goes with researching local venues,” he said. “By leveraging technology, we can close the gap that traditionally existed between hotels and the sharing economy,” he said.


—Corris Little