The Taj Group of Hotels is planning to leverage its guest loyalty programmes by signing pacts with other international hotel groups and acquiring new clients directly, in an effort to reduce its dependence on online travel agencies.
According to an Economic Times report, the hotel chain is aiming to strengthen its loyalty programme with the launch of initiatives such as best-rate guarantees and improved digital platforms, including new mobile apps.
“Loyalty can be a silver bullet for us as the cost of customer acquisition in this channel is very low,” said Chinmai Sharma, chief revenue officer of Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces. “So the idea of a strategic partnership in this space with like-minded hotel brands in different geographies will give more earn and burn capabilities to the members.”
Under the new pacts, Taj’s loyalty scheme members will be able to earn and redeem points in hotels operated by partner brands. This is aimed at encouraging guests to book their directly on the hotel group’s websites and apps, and driving longer and more frequent stays.
Taj has already rolled out a revamped loyalty programme with new features and enhancements for hotel stays, food and beverages and spa services.
And the company has now launched a new website offering a range of new initiatives, including best rate guarantees and other benefits for direct bookings. It is also planning to add a widget to provide price comparisons between different booking portals.
Taj has increased its spending on digital infrastructure by almost five times in the last year.