WITH A LOBBY designed for welcoming guest arrivals and rooms aimed at the comfort of business travelers, Hilton’s new Signia brand is focused on attracting meetings and events, the company said. That could play into forecasts that U.S. business travel will surge this year.
Hilton announced the new brand last week, saying it would use technology and design to enhance the hotels’ attraction for business travelers. Each Signia would include a minimum of 500 guest rooms and 75 square feet per key of meetings and events space.
“In our 100th year of hospitality, we are more focused than ever on providing exceptional experiences to all of our guests – and that includes evolving those experiences to meet their changing needs,” said Hilton President and CEO Christopher Nassetta.
Each Signia would feature a full bar and restaurant, fitness classes and facilities and Digital Key entry for guestrooms. The meeting and events areas would include large ballrooms and pre-function areas. They were designed with input from meeting professionals, owners, developers and guests, according to Hilton’s Senior Vice President and Global Head David Marr.
The U.S. Travel Association is forecasting a 3.4 percent increase in business travel in the U.S. this year. For hotels with around 20,000 square feet of meeting space, meeting related revenue, including meeting room rental, audiovisual services, service charges and other related expenses, made up 8.1 percent of sales in 2017, according to STR. Meetings accounted for $8,039 in revenue per available room and $29.61 per occupied room night.
For hotels with 500 or more rooms and 75,000 square feet or more of meeting space, meeting related revenue made up 9.2 percent. They accounted for $9,571 of revenue PAR and $34.81 per occupied night.
Some of the first locations for the brand will include Signia Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, Signia Hilton Atlanta and Signia Hilton Indianapolis. Each location will be part of the company’s Hilton Honors program. A recent study by the Global Business Travel Association and Omni Hotels & Resorts found that loyalty programs are a big factor for business travelers in deciding where to stay.
Last year Hilton launched Motto, its “newest affordable lifestyle brand.” The first Motto by Hilton is under development in London. U.S. cities that may soon see a Motto by Hilton include Savannah, San Diego, Boston and Washington, D.C.