Starwood launches SPG Pro for corporate bookers

Starwood has launched a new loyalty scheme for corporate bookers. As an extension of the existing Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) consumer programme, SPG Pro now enables corporate bookers to receive the same benefits and rewards as SPG members.

The launch follows the merger of Starwood’s three previous corporate loyalty schemes, Starwood Preferred Planner, Starwood Pro and Starchoice, which were targeted to different sections of the corporate market.

The new single loyalty programme will now debut in October 2014, offering meeting and travel professionals a range of benefits, including SPG elite status, upgrades and Starpoints for B2B business booked at any of Starwood’s properties worldwide.

Alison Taylor (left), Starwood's senior vice president of sales for Asia Pacific
Alison Taylor (left), Starwood’s senior vice president of sales for Asia Pacific

In addition, any SPG member who books a group stay, event or corporate business meeting, regardless of whether or not they are a travel professional, will earn Starpoints.

SPG Pro was unveiled to the Asia Pacific market at a major event in Bangkok on Friday 5 September 2014, and Alison Taylor, Starwood’s regional senior vice president of sales, told Travel Daily that the move was intended to reward the company’s key corporate bookers and take advantage of the high volume of business generated by SPG members.

The top 2% of SPG members now deliver 30% of global business for the company, and that is expected to increase with the launch of SPG Pro.

“Over 50% of our occupancy in Asia Pacific is SPG members, which tells you about the power of the programme,” said Ms Taylor. “And that will increase exponentially when we add the B2B side to it.

“Starwood Preferred Planner was always rewarding people for SPG, but Starwood Pro and Starchoice weren’t. We’re looking at things more holistically… rewarding people for all the business they provide,” she added.

SPG Pro is also aiming to take advantage of the huge volume of B2B business that Starwood generates. Corporate business accounts for nearly 70% of Starwood’s overall room revenue, and the top 1% of B2B accounts drives 40% of Starwood’s B2B revenue.

“The work that we’ve done to make SPG the richest elite programme in the industry has proven that we can create true and lasting loyalty with our most profitable guests and shift share of wallet to our hotels,” said Starwood’s president & CEO, Frits van Paasschen.

“With SPG Pro, we’re focusing our powerful loyalty lens on B2B to cultivate ever stronger and more personal relationships with our global customers who deliver guests to our hotels.”

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