Hotels revamp their customer loyalty programme

DELHI: Changing customer demographics and the rise of millenials, competitive price rates of online travel agents and real time feedback on social media is leading both domestic and international hotel chains to revamp their customer loyalty programmes in a bid to woo and retain customers, reports The Economic Times.

In June this year, ITC entered into a first of its kind partnership with Starwood for their Starwood Preferred Guest programme that enables ITC’s guests to redeem their points at any of the Starwood properties globally and allows Starwood’s guests to redeem their points at ITC properties in India. The programme includes free room nights, food and beverage consumption and also offers for their retail brand Wills Lifestyle.

“A loyalty programme is one of the top 3-4 reasons a person stays in a hotel. It’s an effective retention tool and the data that we have allows us to talk to customers as individuals for tailor-made offerings,” said B Hariharan, VP, sales and marketing for ITC Hotels.

Earlier this year, Hilton launched ‘Stop Clicking Around’, which was referred to by the group as the biggest and boldest campaign in the company’s 97-year history. The campaign offered exclusive discounted rates to its over 55 million Hilton HHonors members and emphasised the benefits of booking directly through Hilton’s channels. It also introduced digital check-ins and room selection, exclusive benefits for members via the Hilton HHonors app, features that have been used over a million times times per month.

“Not just big chains, even smaller hotels seems to emphasizing on investing in loyalty programmes as the cost of acquiring new customes is huge. It is easier to retain existing customers than finding new ones,” said Pranjal Prashar, founder and CEO of startup Repup, which works on online reputation management for hotels like Carlson’s Radisson Blu, Lemon Tree, and ITC’s Fortune and helps hotels increase web bookings. Prashar said competition from online travel agents is also ever growing as they focus more on hotels vis a vis airlines.


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