WTM: Hilton sees spike in mobile revenue

Hilton Hotels Corporation has seen a massive spike in revenue from its mobile channel in the past year.

The hotel giant has reported a return on investment of $44 for every $1 invested in mobile in 2009, compared with a $22 return for every $1 invested in 2008.

Speaking at the EyeforTravel conference at World Travel Market, director of website strategy and testing Chris La Rose, said the return on investment had been achieved without marketing.

He also said the company had seen a 59% mobile revenue increase for the third quarter of 2009 compared with the first quarter of the year.

La Rose added that mobile investment was 0.1% of Hilton’s online spend. “It’s going to explode. I see a day when mobile will do more business than online. We are having the same conversations about mobile that we had about online 10 years ago.”

He also said the company wanted to be device agnostic and expand internationally with some of the functionality it offers to US customers, such as a facility to request items on arrival including both free and fee-based items.

The company is also about to release an iPhone application in the US for its Doubletree brand. According to research from EyeforTravel, payment and booking security are the two elements holding back the development of mobile usage in the travel sector.

La Rose also predicted that infrastructure would become an issue because of the increasing number of applications being developed. “We’re unleashing all these applications but the infrastructure was not really built to cope with all this. I see performance being a big issue.”

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