Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Hilton looks to new and emerging customers to re-up enthusiasm for travel

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As consumers return to normal travel patterns, Hilton wants to re-energize people’s enthusiasm for travel by offering unique travel experiences.

One way the hotel chain is looking to do just that is through an Instagram contest that gave away a special room. The contest was aimed at golf players and Hilton Honors members and looked to attract more members to its loyalty program.

This year’s RBC Canadian Open (a major golf tournament) featured the first-ever Hilton on the Green pop-up hotel room — a one-bedroom pop-up hotel that was built on the golf course in front of the green. The pop-up room features a shower and bathroom, a custom-built deck and Hilton amenities from around the globe, making it fully-functional with everything a guest might need. 

Hilton targeted golfers through this promotion, as more women, people of color and younger people get involved in the sport, which is rapidly evolving.

“Hilton is deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and is always interested in appealing to new, emerging customers,” said Jennifer White, director of destination marketing at Hilton. “Therefore golf is a great fit for Hilton, and a great way to showcase a variety of our brands that appeal to different demographics.”

The pop-up hotel room from Hilton cannot be booked — it can only be won through the contest, which White said made it even more appealing and exclusive to those who entered the contest.

The Hilton on the Green sweepstakes ran from April 15 to May 23, awarding two winners and their guests with one-night stays at the hotel and tournament tickets for two days. Sharing the sweepstakes on Twitter earned brand fans an additional entry. According to White, 3,410 people signed up for the contest.

According to Pathmatics, Hilton spent a little over $13 million so far this year on marketing efforts. White noted that the company promoted this particular contest through Golf Canada and Hilton social channels including Instagram and Twitter. “The majority of the budget was spent on social media, and we used other digital tactics like Hilton Honors emails and a banner on Hilton.com to reach Hilton Honors members,” said White.

Hilton will also bring the Hilton on the Green campaign to the CP Women’s Open in Ottawa in the near future, and another Hilton on the Green hotel room will be available next year as part of the hotel chain’s commitment to providing guests with a unique experience designed by FUSE Create.

Since the pandemic began, travelers are eager to get outdoors again, and Hilton is not the only brand doing appealing to this sentiment. Companies like Booking.com and Days Inn are also seeking to reach consumers returning to travel and tourism.

“Golfers are typically higher earners and therefore align to Hilton’s target demographic of mid to senior aged professionals with high levels of income. In addition, golf tourism is a huge industry which Hilton will be looking to capitalize on,” said Michelle Urwin, senior director of strategic marketing at omnichannel marketing platform Skai.

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