Shane Nelson
Shane Nelson

Hilton Worldwide debuted an enhancement this week for its Hilton HHonors app, offering users customized activity and event specifics on their handheld devices.

Titled "Fun Finder," the upgrade is being described as a "personal travel guide" by Hilton officials and can currently be used by guests staying at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki and the Hilton Anatole in Dallas.

"When a guest is on property in Hawaii, based on where they are, who they are and the time of day, we're able to customize the experience for them," said Rich DiStefano, Hilton Worldwide's senior director of mobile products.

Travelers need to download the Hilton HHonors app, opt into the Fun Finder component, which operates with GPS, WiFi and beacon technology, and then supply a little personal information regarding their stay, according to DiStefano.

"We ask them to participate in a survey to give us more information about whether it's their first time to Hawaii or if they're traveling with their family," he said. "And then we're able to take those elements and create the notifications from that."

From there guests can take advantage of optimized directions and maps -- a useful tool at the sprawling, 22-acre oceanfront Hilton Hawaiian Village -- as well as interactive activity lists for the resort, special offers, or make reservations at the spa or restaurants, and folks will receive customized notifications about vacation options that may be of interest.

"Imagine that you're traveling with your family, and we notify you that it's Friday and there are fireworks happening at the Hawaii property at 7 o'clock," DiStefano explained. "We'll send you a notification saying, 'Don't miss the fireworks and here's how you get there,' so your kids don't miss the show."

Guests using the Fun Finder tool can also real-time message with the resort's staff to get specific questions answered about everything from softer pillows to late checkouts.

DiStefano said Hilton decided to roll out the Fun Finder app component at its Hawaiian Village in Waikiki in part because it is a "vast property."

"It's also got a ton of things that are happening," he continued. "And we wanted to make sure guests have every opportunity to learn about those options on property that they might be interested in."

Hilton does plan to expand the Fun Finder component to other properties soon, but DiStefano wouldn't put a specific time frame on when those additions would be made, noting his team will be learning from the rollout and usage at the first two Hilton resorts in Waikiki and Dallas.
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