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Hotels are smart to try to engage with frequent guests beyond the lure of points and free nights. We’ll have to see just how effective the experiential trend will be and if it translates into greater guest spending, which after all, is hotels’ bottom-line goal.
Some hotel brand companies have partnered with resort companies — IHG — with Las Vegas Sands and Hyatt Hotels Corporation with MGM Resorts International, for example—to provide reciprocal benefits for its loyal customers. And loyalty programs are no longer just the realm of brand companies. Several options, including Voila Hotel Rewards and Stash Hotel Rewards, provide loyalty options for independent and boutique properties.
Traditional chains give loyalty club members increased flexibility in how they use their currency. IHG has a concierge service, in which IHG Rewards Club members can use a merchandise catalog to exchange points for products, services and travel offers. Marriott recently struck a deal with United Airlines that provides special benefits to members in both companies’ loyalty programs.