Hilton International today announced a distribution agreement with travel search engine leader SideStep, Inc. The deal will enable SideStep's 4.7 million monthly users to get real-time information on availability and best prices across Hilton International's entire inventory of more than 400 properties worldwide.

The agreement, which provides a direct link from the SideStep search engine to Hilton International's own site, marks another success for Hilton as it continues to grow its international distribution network via strong partnership deals.

SideStep will be the first travel search engine with permission to search Hilton International's sites for rates and availability. Announcing the deal, Jurgen Fischer, President, Commercial Operations Group, Hilton International, said: "We all know that today's consumers are increasingly relying on the Internet to book their own travel arrangements, be it for business or pleasure. Travel-specific search engines like SideStep are expanding rapidly as consumers continue to seek the best possible deals. Today, we have joined forces with a leader in the field, and we are delighted that SideStep users will now be able to access a host of Hilton products," Fischer continued: "Hilton International has made a significant investment in its website and online distribution capabilities. As online travel bookings continue to increase, we are confident that our carefully selected partnerships will enable us to drive growth through this channel."

In order to support the new agreement, Hilton International has introduced advanced new functionality to its website. In the past, when search engines 'scanned' Hilton's website for information, the activity generated significant levels of traffic which the site was not designed to support. To combat this issue, Hilton International has launched a new availability engine, which will enable SideStep to access relevant room and rate information without physically searching the Hilton website and increasing traffic levels. The introduction of the availability engine forms part of a wider program of website improvements, which will enable Hilton International to better serve both direct customers and its online distribution partners.

Don Smith, SideStep's Vice President, Hotels, commented: "Hilton International is a significant addition to our line-up of name-brand travel supplier partners, and this alliance furthers the unmatched comprehensiveness of SideStep's search results. Whether they are heading to a destination as familiar as England or as far afield as Egypt, SideStep's avid travellers will now see compelling choices from this leading global hotelier."

This news follows last month's partnership announcement between SideStep and the Hilton Hotels Corporation - the US business that owns brands such as Hilton, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, and Homewood Suites by Hilton.