A recent case study on the Google Geo Developers Blog looked at how the Hilton hotel chain is experimenting with Google APIs. Written by Virginia Suliman, Vice President of Digital Design and Development for Hilton Worldwide, as part of Google’s Code the Road series, the focus of the study is on how the APIs are improving the process of selecting a hotel room.
Currently exclusive to Hilton’s HHonors guests, their innovative iPhone app enhances the room selection process by giving users more information before they arrive. This has been achieved through integrating with the Google Maps APIs and Google Places API for iOS. Thanks to these APIs, guests can see a controlled list of businesses and points of interest in the hotel’s local neighbourhood. This allows guests to choose the hotel that best matches their travel or business plans geographically.
With the hotel selected, Street View Panoramas from the Google Maps SDK allows guests to use the app to virtually look out of hotel room windows and select the room with the view that suits them. This is an extension of the Google Maps Business View that already offers panoramic virtual tours of Hilton properties to guests.
The goal is to improve the digital check-in experience to turn travellers into repeat customers and eventually loyalists. With plans to allow the app to work as a room key in the near future, Hilton Hotels is using technology to improve user experience and drive continued business success.