Despite the bold claims of many travel Web sites, the best way to book the least expensive room at a Hilton hotel is to "stop clicking around" and book directly, said Geraldine Calpin, chief marketing officer at Hilton Worldwide (HLT) - Get Report .
Calpin said it is a fallacy that third parties offer a lower rate than Hilton Worldwide. To combat this misconception, Calpin said the company is improving its HHonors program to give guests exclusive savings and reward them for their loyalty so they don't miss out on earning points or benefits.
In 2015, 57 billion Hilton HHonors Points went unearned because guests did not book direct, according to Calpin. She said this translates to more than 1.6 million free nights across the company's portfolio of brands, or 4,500 hotels worldwide.
"There is a role for Web sites for customers seeking to shop around to see what is available and decide which hotel to book, but with our new Honors discount we are guaranteeing that you will always get the best price with Hilton.com," said Calpin, who is kicking off the company's new "Stop Clicking Around" advertising campaign, the largest marketing initiative in the hotel chain's 97-year history.
Calpin added that travel sites like Expedia.com (EXPE) - Get Report , Orbitz.com and Hotels.com will remain good partners with Hilton. Nevertheless, Calpin said travelers will be able to reap greater benefits from the company through a more direct relationship.
In addition to points, she said booking through Hilton.com also gives Hilton HHonors members access to exclusive events, like Live Nation concerts, private dining experiences or even tickets to the U.S. Olympic team trials. HHonors members who book direct also receive free Wi-Fi and popular offerings like digital check-in with room selection and digital key.
"The big trend in hotels now is creating better connections to a customer's technology and making their lives simpler so they can get on with their business or vacation," said Calpin.