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Hilton Garden Inn pushes getaway sweepstakes via social media contest

Hilton Garden Inn is fueling guests to participate in the Garden Getaway Tour, a four-city event which brings consumers to popular city landmarks, by asking them to snap a photo with a Getaway Greeter and share on via their social media applications for a chance to visit the brand’s new property in Hawaii.

The hotel brand seeks to inspire guests to visit some of the world’s most charming cities through its Garden Getaway Tour, which kicks off in New York City on April 10 and 11. Consumers should be on the lookout for the brand’s Garden Getaway Greeters, dressed in themed character costumes, and have their mobile devices ready to take a photo for a chance to win the Hawaii vacation package.

“With much of the nation experiencing record snowfalls and low temperatures this past winter, we think Hilton Garden Inn consumers will be excited for the chance to win a getaway to warm and sunny Hawaii,” said Judy Christa-Cathey, vice president of global brand marketing, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Hotels, McLean, VA. “The Garden Getaway Tour encapsulates the feeling Hilton Garden Inn guests have when staying with us, so the campaign itself will resonate with and get the attention of anyone who has stayed at an HGI.

“With both PR and social support behind #HGIGardenGetaway, we do believe there will be significant traffic on the designated hashtag throughout the entire Garden Getaway Tour,” she said. “The activation itself is visual, so it’s innately share worthy, especially on the increasingly popular visual social networks, like Instagram.

“Since hashtags allow people to discover and compare experiences and their perspectives with others, we expect Garden Getaway Tour participants to want to use the hashtag when they share their experience with the Greeters online. The hashtag is also one of the mechanisms for entry into the giveaway, which we expect to spur use of the hashtag.”

Tapping social media
The hotel marketer is leveraging social media to promote its new property in Hawaii and offer customers the chance to win a trip to the popular destination. Guests in each tour market, which includes New York City, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, must find a Garden Getaway Greeter dressed in costumes representing iconic travel destinations, as well as in live materials that display the vibrancy of Hilton Garden Inn’s hotels.

Guests must then snap a photo with a Greeter and share it through their Instagram and Twitter mobile applications using the #entry and #HGIGardenGetaway hashtags. They may also post it on Hilton Garden Inn’s Facebook page for an automatic entry.

Consumers are also encouraged to attend the events to receive giveaways of travel essentials, such as QR-coded luggage tags and Neutrogena lotion. The brand hopes that these will give customers the extra burst of inspiration to take a getaway to a destination they have always dreamed of visiting.

For guests who are not able to attend in-person city events, Hilton Garden Inn is aiming to connect with those on-the-go mobile users by offering prizes via its Facebook page. Available prizes will include Neutrogena gift sets, Hilton Garden Inn blankets and Keurig brewing systems.

Consumers seeking more information may visit, which features the dates of each city tour as well as a gallery to offer guests ideas for their next Garden Getaway destination.

The brand will be visiting New York City on April 10 and 11, Dallas on May 15 and 16, Los Angeles on July 3 and 4 and Chicago on September 4 and 5.

Driving hotel stays
This strategy is well-timed with the arrival of spring, as consumers will likely be searching for the perfect summer getaway. Hilton Garden Inn’s city events can help plant the seed of inspiration in guests’ minds to stay at Garden Inn property during their next vacation, a move which will drive sales of hotel stays.

Hilton has also been displaying a greater dedication to mobile strategy.

Hilton Garden Inn is leveraging social media in a big way

As Hilton Worldwide rolls out its digital check-in function to more than 4,100 of its properties around the globe, more than one-third of guests are embracing the ability to use their mobile device to bypass the front desk (see story).

“We’re excited to inspire people to take a weekend getaway to discover new things and re-connect with family and friends,” Ms. Christa-Cathey said. “The Garden Getaway Tour is all about showing people the great things to see and do across the country and around the world, as well showcasing the vibrancy and freshness that characterize our more than 600 Hilton Garden Inn hotels.

“What better way to do that than with our Garden Getaway Greeters, characters representing popular travel destinations, dressed from head to toe in flowers and live botanicals.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York