Starwood Hotels & Resorts has launched a new loyalty programme for travel and meeting professionals.
Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) Pro will launch in October to help the group grab a bigger share of the global B2B business, with agents able to earn and gain rewards.
Travel professionals will be able to reach SPG elite status, upgrades and Starpoints with various benefits at different status levels.
B2B accounts for nearly 70% of Starwood’s overall room revenue with the top 1% of accounts thought to drive 40% of its B2B business.
“SPG Pro is a compelling way for Starwood to reward our global customers, provide more personalised service on property and really understand the totality of the business our partners influence,” said Christie Hicks, SVP Starwood sales organisation.
“SPG Pro will also help us extend our reach beyond our managed accounts to attract new businesses, regional organisations and a next generation of travel professionals. New global travel patterns are driving more corporate, leisure and meetings business than ever before and with each 1% share shift in this business, we add US$80m in revenue,” she added.
A US$30m campaign has been devised to launch the system, which uses imagery showing behind the scenes of events and the work of travel professionals using its hotels and spaces.
SPG Pro has been designed to leverage the strength of the SPG loyalty scheme, which drives 50% of Starwood hotel stays. Members of the programme who are not travel professionals will also be rewarded with Starpoints if they book an event or group or corporate stay.
“By rewarding business like corporate off sites, product launches or even personal events like weddings or bar mitzvahs, we build greater stickiness with our loyal guests, who in turn become an extension of our sales team,” said Starwood’s president and CEO Frits van Paasschen.
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