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Tuesday, 03 February 2009 14:58

Paris waits as Hilton goes global

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Usually all the Internet gossip is about a naked Paris Hilton, but for once it is the family business that is busting out and making the headlines online.

Who can forget the tales of Paris Hilton and Madonna slugging it out in a virtual porn battle? Or how about the unusual twist of a bikini-clad Paris Hilton talking about running for President of the USA?

My favourite headline from 2008 had to be "Paris Hilton Tosses Dwarf On The Street" although I admit it was run pretty close by "Paris Hilton goes down as surfers shun porn for a poke."

Indeed, for an entire generation of teens who are part of a culture that mixes online gossip with celebrity worship, the Hilton brand is Paris. They probably have never heard of, let alone stayed in, a Hilton hotel.

Yet without the Hilton brand the pretty rich kid would never have shot to notoriety, although I admit that the porn movie helped a tad.

Now Hilton, the hotel business with 545,000 rooms in 77 countries, is fighting back as far as online presence goes with news of a new global web enterprise platform as part of a multi-million dollar project.

The new global web technology platform, hosting localised websites for the hotel group in order to bring all nine Hilton brands together within a single portal, went live with the UK website.

Hilton has 120 people working on the global web platform project with 500 hotels supplying content. There have been 208 hours of usability testing with 151 people, and in all more than half a million words will have been translated.

Co-leader of the project and Vice President of Distribution for Hilton, Jamie Cole, explained what prompted Hilton to invest in the new platform: "Importantly, the new platform will enable us to launch and promote our brands into new markets more easily and more quickly."

The Hilton web project is now looking at markets outside the UK to bring into the portal, with Germany and Japan being next in line. France will have to wait a little longer, meaning Paris will be in the unusual position of not being the Hilton everyone is talking about for a while yet.

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