Hotel Royalty Programs

Last week, I read two news articles about hotel royalty programs. One is about InterContinental, which allows members to use Priority Club Reward points at competitors’ properties. IHG (InterContinental Hotel Group) royal customers can now enjoy a vacation in a place where there is no IHG hotel. The other is about a newly introduced “Stash Hotel Rewards” for upscale, independent hotels. So far, the Stash Hotel Rewards program includes 65 hotels in 50 cities.

What do these changes mean to the hotel industry? How do you assess IHG’s strategy? Is it a smart move because it offers more options to its preferred guests? Or is it taking a risk of losing its preferred guests because they may switch to another brand after they try a competitor’s property?

A related discussion about the strategies of managing royalty programs between Hilton and IHG in this blog can be found: http://linchikwok.blogspot.com/2010/02/hilton-should-have-known-game-theory.html.

References:
AH&LA SmartBrief: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok05252010-1
U.S.A. Today: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok05252010-2
Picture was downloaded from: http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok05252010P

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