Is Wanderlust in Our DNA? Curio Collection by Hilton Launches The Curious Gene Program
Are you born curious? This fall, Curio Collection by Hilton™ – one of Hilton’s (NYSE: HLT) 14 market-leading brands – is helping travelers find out by digging into their love of exploration. Through consumer research, the brand discovered that people are seeking unique experiences as an integral aspect of their travel. With that insight, and with curiosity at the core of the brand name, Curio Collection turned to science to sponsor the DNA testing of approximately 30 avid travelers who love sharing their journeys with their social media followers. The goal was to determine if they have the DRD4-7R gene, better known as the “wanderlust gene,” in an effort to understand our innate desire to travel. Today, the collection brand launches an “Are You Curious?” social media quiz, to allow everyone to put their curiosity to the test.
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“A curious traveler is someone whose desire for one-of-a-kind discoveries draws them to distinctive hotels that are an essential part of their travel experience,” said Stuart Foster, vice president, Global Brand Marketing, Curio Collection by Hilton. “Through our Curious Gene program, we are hoping to ignite curiosity in all people by helping them determine their next authentic travel moment at one of our more than 40 global hotels and resorts handpicked for their unique character – be it an epicurean adventure at the recently opened Lil’ B Coffee & Eatery or Siren within The Darcy Washington DC or a tranquil, beachside spa experience at the iconic Hotel del Coronado in California.”
The Science & Curiosity Types
Scientists believe that a variation of the gene, 7R, a derivative of the gene DRD4, exists in one in five people or approximately 20 percent of the human population. Through the Curious Gene study, Curio Collection by Hilton worked with a genetics lab, Fulgent Genetics, and research partner, BrandIQ, to test the 30 travel influencers to determine which of them have the “curious gene.” Each influencer also participated in a qualitative portion of the study that included a detailed online board and survey. By applying learnings from the study and leveraging existing scientific information associated with the 7R gene, researchers developed an algorithm to classify curiosity into five different types:
- They enjoy hiking under the stars and escaping from the city lights. Their travel style is spontaneous, rustic and authentic.
- They live to eat, drink and be merry, trying almost anything on a plate or in a cup at least once. Sight, smell and taste all drive their exploration of the world and their travel is all about romance and indulgence.
- Art is everywhere, both in what they create and what they seek. For them, travel is about being stylish, passionate and open to possibilities.
- They are always seeking the best for their inner and outer selves, and the best balance for mind and body. Their travel style is relaxed, focusing on staying grounded while being inspired, whether it be a wellness retreat or a music festival.
- Their interests take them to both the rooftop and the mountaintop. Their travel style is exotic, active and well-planned.
From the initial group of influencers participating in the Curious Gene study, five who represent each curiosity type were selected to further participate in a live observational study, during which they were filmed in their natural state to further validate the categories. With remarkable hotels in some of the most sought after global destinations, Curio Collection by Hilton offers amenities to meet the desires of each curious traveler type.
So, Are You Curious?
Starting today, all wanderlusters will be able to join in the study by taking the shareable, “Are You Curious?” social media quiz to discover their curiosity type. Based on their results, participants will receive recommendations for Curio Collection by Hilton hotels and resorts that best complement their curious interests.
Curio Collection by Hilton is also part of Hilton Honors, the free to join, award-winning guest-loyalty program. Members receive instant benefits including access to the Hilton Honors app and hundreds of ways to earn and redeem Points. To live out their curiosity type, Hilton Honors members can redeem their Points for free nights, premium merchandise and just about any item on Amazon thanks to the Shop with Points program. Members can also make charitable contributions or gain access to unique events through the Hilton Honors auction platform (honors.com/auctions), such as exclusive artist experiences and concert events with Live Nation® - for the Curious Spiritualist and Culturalist, or race experiences with the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team – for the Curious Challenger.
Consumers can continue to follow along and join the conversation with @curiocollection using the hashtag #BeCurious and visiting CitiesbyCurio.com/BeCurious for additional information. Media may access video assets, images and more at news.curio.com/BeCurious.
Research Methodology: Curio Collection by Hilton undertook a research project from June 14, 2017 through September 3rd, 2017 to understand behaviors and preferences among people who are highly engaged with travel. Firstly, using an online survey, 129 avid travelers were identified based on their travel behaviors and preferences. Following the online survey, 30 participants took part in qualitative discussions for further exploration. Concurrent to the Online Bulletin Boards, these 30 participants also provided a cheek swab that was tested to identify whether they had the DRD4-7R allele. Nine respondents tested positive for the DRD4-7R allele.
About Curio Collection by Hilton™
Curio Collection by Hilton (curiocollection.com), launched in 2014, is a global portfolio of more than 40 remarkable, upper upscale hotels and resorts handpicked for their unique character and personality. Curio Collection properties appeal to travelers seeking one-of-a-kind discoveries and authentic experiences, all backed by Hilton (NYSE: HLT) and its award-winning Hilton Honors program. Read the latest Curio Collection stories at news.curiocollection.com, discover Curio Collection destinations through Cities by Curio itineraries at citiesbycurio.com and connect with the collection on facebook.com/curiocollection, instagram.com/curiocollection and twitter.com/curiocollection.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,000 properties with over 825,000 rooms in 103 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton™, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton™, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube.
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