by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | December 01, 2005
Days ago, Hilton Hotels Corp. launched the first phase of its latest online tool. Unlike Hilton Direct, which debuted three years ago, allows meeting planners to book and control their room block at the property of their choice.
    Designed primarily for small meetings, lets users book up to 25 rooms, at the published group rate, across the Hilton portfolio at participating hotels.
    Bill Brooks, vice president of product development for the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based chain, told M&C that Hilton would monitor customer reception to the product and increase its range of offerings over the next year.
    “In the second phase, which should be up and running by the end of the first quarter of 2006, planners will also be able to book meeting space, technology, and food and beverage requirements,” noted Brooks. 
    Eevents will not necessarily replace Hyatt’s personal service, Brooks added. “Meeting planners will still be able to talk directly with the hotel salesperson about special needs, such as menu issues or VIP treatment,” he said.