Mobile travel firm in global deal with Hilton Hotels

12 Aug 2009

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A Dublin mobile software company has won a lucrative deal with one of the world’s largest hoteliers Hilton Hotels to launch a UK and German mobile booking solution, including an iPhone web app.

Mobile Travel Technologies’ solution for Hilton includes a web app version for UK iPhone users that allows them to select and book a hotel, access and change bookings and view hotel images and information, whilst away from their PC.

The solution has full integration with the hotel company’s HHonors for the benefit of Hilton loyalty club members and includes a dedicated version for iPhone users.

A Hilton Downloadable App has been submitted to the iTunes/iPhone App Store, and will be available to UK users soon for download following approval by Apple.

In developing a mobile web site for the UK, Hilton wanted to allow customers access to a range of service and reservations functionality via their mobile devices.

MTT was originally supported by Enterprise Ireland under its High Potential Start-Up programme and since then has grown rapidly.

Mobile travel services powered by MTT are growing in usage by around 20pc per month, and typically mobile user volumes are 5-7pc of the level of the regular PC web sites.

“Mobile Travel Technologies is an excellent example of an Irish company that is achieving growth and success by satisfying complex customer needs through the development of new and innovative products and services,” the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment Mary Coughlan TD explained.

“Companies such as MTT make a vital contribution to the Irish economy and I would like to acknowledge the determination, ambition and leadership of the entrepreneurs behind many firms who have taken on the challenge of establishing and growing internationally competitive new businesses.”

Hilton Mobile uses MTT’s intelligent mobile hotel platform, m2bed, to fulfil Hilton’s requirements, automatically directing customers to a view of the site optimised for their particular device.

The site has been developed with a usability focused User Interface, with minimised clicking, typing and scrolling required. A free-text search allows travellers to quickly locate a particular hotel, find directions or check hotel facilities, and the site has ‘click to call’ capabilities throughout for those users who want to speak to the Hilton call centre.

The iPhone Web App version of the site maximises the use of iPhone multi-touch technology. For Hilton HHonors members, they can follow a simple log-in to view a points summary and have the added benefit of quick booking, with certain fields pre-populated.

The forthcoming Downloadable App responds to the growth in the popularity of downloadable apps for iPhone users and also gives Hilton an opportunity to grab valuable customer-facing “real estate” in the iPhone App Store and on the iPhone device itself.

For iPhone users with the downloadable app on their device, the site delivers additional functionality. For example, the new App will give users three ways to search for a hotel; via country/city, by free text search, e.g. Hotels in London, or by current location, and the GPS capability of the iPhone will show a list of nearby Hilton hotels and the distance from the user’s current location.

“MTT is delighted to provide the technology to power Hilton Mobile. Mobile technology is playing an increasing role in new marketing and distribution strategies of major hotel chains,” Gerry Samuels, founder and executive director, MTT explained.

“As consumers increasingly take advantage of the convenience of mobile to make bookings and make changes on-the-go, hotel chains are now seeing strong revenue growth as well as having a customer service advantage.”

The number of apps downloaded from the iPhone App Store reached a billion in April 2009, in the first 9 months of the store opening.

“Enterprise Ireland is delighted to be working with MTT in growing its international business,” Tom Hayes, Head of Enterprise Ireland’s High Potential Start Ups Division said.

“MTT is exactly the type of innovative, high potential, export-oriented company that Enterprise Ireland is keen to support. Their success shows what can be achieved when the ambitions and energy of a young company are harnessed and supported,” Hayes added.

To view the Hilton Mobile site, enter www.hilton.co.uk into your mobile device’s browser, or visit http://tinyurl.com/hilmob to access the site on PC in an online emulator (PC browser requires Java).

By John Kennedy

Pictured: (l-r) are Gerry Samuels, Founder and Executive Director, MTT & Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com