Hilton's mobile-optimized local guides transform smartphones into travel companions

Curio ? A Collection by Hilton is ramping up awareness of its boutique properties by teaming up with musical artist Gavin DeGraw to create a series of mobile-optimized city guides, showcasing how hospitality brands are leveraging mobile devices as travel concierges.

One of Hilton?s newest subsidiaries, which consists of a hand-picked selection of upscale resorts, is attempting to reach mobile-savvy travelers with a microsite that includes several city guides, containing insider tips on the best local attractions. Each featured city hosts a Curio hotel, as well as one of Gavin DeGraw?s upcoming concert dates, enabling consumers to get as much inspiration as possible before booking a stay.

?Mobile is an integral aspect of every consumer?s life ? for work, play and travel ? and we know that mobile is one of the best ways to connect and engage with consumers,? said a brand spokesperson for Curio ? A Collection by Hilton. ?With Curio guests being savvy and adventurous, we want to ensure they can easily and efficiently access engaging content and our #CitiesbyCurio Local Guides to help them experience destinations like a true local.

?This in mind, it?s been a strategic choice to build websites and marketing programs ? including CitiesbyCurio.com ? that are optimized for mobile access.?

A dose of mobile inspiration
Curio ? A Collection by Hilton and Gavin DeGraw?s new partnership aims to help travelers snag the inside scoop on select United States cities as well as insider tips on how to experience these destinations like a local.

The mobile-optimized #CitiesbyCurio Local Guides, which were developed in conjunction with Mr. DeGraw, are available at www.citiesbycurio.com

Consumers thinking about taking a getaway to Philadelphia, Providence, RI, Boston, St. Louis, MO, or Grand Rapids, MI, may want to peruse the local guides to receive inspiration on activities, attractions and local eateries before booking their stays.

Each of the featured city guides coincides with a date on Mr. DeGraw?s upcoming concert tour with Andy Grammer. Mr. DeGraw, who has toured the country for years, was able to offer insight on his favorite local attractions, many of which he visits in between shows.

The guides highlight each city's flagship Curio hotel, which can be located on an interactive map. This way, visitors can determine the resort?s proximity to desired attractions and locations.

The guides also offer individuals ideas for a 24-hour getaway. Consumers can interact with the guides by toggling between the eat and drink, shop and activity tabs, which showcase locals? favorite options.

Site visitors can view upcoming events in each respective city, as well as typical weather patterns for each month, enabling them to make the most informed decision for the best time to visit.

Once consumers are ready to book their stays, the may click on the featured hotel?s URL link to visit Curio?s site to receive additional room information and check rates.

Mr. DeGraw?s input was used for the local guides for Philadelphia, Boston, Providence, St. Louis and Grand Rapids. Curio guides are also available for other destinations, including Augusta, Dallas and Houston.

Mobile users can easily access any of the guides while on-the-go and share their favorites with friends by clicking their preferred social media channel?s icon at the bottom of the page.

Travel influencers on the rise
Travel enthusiasts are encouraged to follow Gavin DeGraw on social media as he embarks on his latest tour. Mr. DeGraw will host concert ticket giveaways on his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook channels, giving fans more incentive to stay up-to-date with his adventures.

Additionally, he will take over Curio?s Twitter page for a fan Q&A session.

Curio?s partnership with Mr. DeGraw builds upon Hilton?s ongoing concert series, as well as the hotel brand?s history in entertainment and music.

?We believe our partnership with Gavin DeGraw is perfect for Curio ? A Collection by Hilton,? Curio?s spokesperson said. ?Like Gavin, the Curio collection appeals to savvy and adventurous people who are looking for uniquely local experiences.

?Curio eagerly and frequently engages with fans on social media  ? all, of course, easily accessed via smartphones and other mobile devices," the spokesperson said. 

"Whether ticket giveaways or contests or engaging with guests, we find our social media channels, including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, to be one of the best places to keep consumers informed and excited about our growing global collection ? which now spans to 23 properties stretching from the U.S. to Argentina to Germany with dozens more planned.?

Hilton, alongside several other resort chains, has been rolling out inspiration-based microsites and travel guides with increased fervor as of late.

This past spring, Hilton inspired travel enthusiasts to realize their fantasy vacations by introducing a mobile-optimized microsite where visitors could create digital vision boards and share them with friends via social media (see story).

Several weeks ago, InterContinental Hotels Group?s Holiday Inn brand teamed up with digital road trip planner Roadtrippers to invite travelers to create destination guides for a chance to win a vacation, highlighting the potency of collaborations with third-party travel platforms (see story).

?Our guests tend to be independent-minded travelers who are constantly connected, so our mobile and social activations need to be innovative and full of visuals highlighting local flair,? Curio?s spokesperson said. ?Our customer data reveals that a rising percentage of our guests who are booking travel online ? whether in advance, or last-minute ? are doing so via mobile devices.

?Meeting the expectations of independent-minded travelers seeking authentic local experiences was a key reason we launched #CitiesbyCurio in 2015 ? with an emphasis on Instagram photography,? the spokesperson said. ?For the program, we partner with local influencers to create online guides featuring suggested itineraries, photos and other content that highlights the authentic and intriguing aspects of Curio collection hotels and the markets they serve.

?Our exciting new partnership with Gavin DeGraw further extends that approach.?