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Starwood Reinvents Hotel Loyalty Landscape with First-of-Its-Kind
Benefits for Global Mega Travelers

Services Aimed at Small but Powerful Group, the 2% of Travelers
Who Drive 30% of the Company’s Profits


STAMFORD, Conn--Feb. 1, 2012-- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) is raising the stakes in the hotel loyalty landscape to win greater share from the world’s most prolific travelers, a powerful and growing group of global mega travelers. The company announced today new benefits that make its award winning loyalty program Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) the richest elite program in the industry. The more SPG Members stay, the more choices are available and the more personalized the benefits become with standouts like lifetime status, first-of-its-kind 24-hour check-in and a dedicated Starwood ambassador who provides one-on-one service to uniquely tailor the guest experience.

“With globalization trends, there are more mega travelers than ever before going to more places around the world,” said Frits van Paasschen, President and CEO of Starwood. “The opportunity to cultivate what we call ‘loyalty beyond reason’ with the world’s most frequent travelers has never been greater. These are sophisticated consumers who have become jaded by generic points and perks. This is why we’ve invested in distinct new and personal benefits to truly reward those who reward us with a disproportionate amount of their business.”

Three Year Pilot Aimed at Most Profitable Travelers Inspires New Changes
According to van Paasschen, just two percent of travelers drive 30 percent of Starwood’s profits. With that in mind, the company spent the last three years quietly piloting a highly personal one-on-one ambassador service to better understand the needs and desires of these very powerful guests. Across the small, select sample of travelers, Starwood saw a double-digit share shift compared to a control group. Starwood took insights from this pilot to develop new benefits aimed at its elite Members.

“What we heard loud and clear from travelers was that they wanted more choice, more control and more personal service,” said Mark Vondrasek, Senior Vice President, Distribution, Loyalty & Partnership Marketing. “Today, through high touch and high tech, we have a newfound ability to better understand our guests, their preferences and even the nature of each unique trip. By delivering a whole new definition of choice and personal services, we’re moving beyond a purely points arms race to instead build loyalty for life.”

Good-Bye 3 p.m. Check-in – Hello Your24TM
Turning an ancient hotel convention on its head, Starwood is for the first time ever abolishing the industry’s long-standing 3:00 p.m. check-in time and giving its most frequent travelers control of their own arrival and departure time. Your24 lets Members choose their own 24 hour check-in and checkout time. For example, a guest who checks in at 10 p.m. won’t have to check-out until 10 p.m. on their day of departure. The Your24 program is offered to SPG Members who spend 75+ eligible nights at Starwood hotels annually.

Ultimate in Personal Service for Most Prolific Travelers
Building upon its successful pilot program, Starwood is expanding its innovative one-to-one service which matches its best travelers with personal ambassadors. Now, all Members who stay 100 nights annually are invited to participate in this unique service designed to provide the ultimate in tailored experiences across all 1100+ Starwood hotels. What separates this from a traditional travel concierge program is the unique personal relationship between Member and ambassador. Starwood’s ambassadors work one-on-one with guests to understand their preferences and what matters to them on each trip to deliver a customized experience on property. Ambassadors also provide services beyond the hotel and are even empowered to assist guests when they’re not traveling.

Starwood to Reward Loyalty with Lifetime Status
To show its appreciation for its most loyal and enduring travelers, Starwood Preferred Guest is introducing SPG LifetimeTM status. Now Members who have stayed 250 nights total and maintained elite status for at least five years (consecutive or not) are awarded SPG Lifetime Gold status. Members with 500 total nights and 10 years of Platinum SPG status (consecutive or not) will enjoy their top tier status for life.

The Lowdown on Loyalty: Starwood Enhances Benefits for all Elite Members and the More You Stay, the Richer and More Personal it Gets
“Our goal is to make SPG so rich that it’s impossible for mega travelers not to choose Starwood,” said Vondrasek. “We also want to make the program wildly aspirational for all frequent travelers. And because we know that many of our Members are also Members of other hotel loyalty programs, we believe these upgrades give travelers a compelling reason to consolidate their travel with us. With this in mind, we have enriched all of our elite offerings, ratcheting up the proposition as Members stay more.”
  • SPG 100 Nights Benefit: After crossing the 100-night threshold, SPG Members are paired with their personal ambassador.
  • SPG 75 Nights Benefit: After spending 75 nights with Starwood, Members earn four Starpoints for every eligible U.S. dollar spent. Members also get access to Your24 to control their check-in and checkout time.
  • SPG 50 Nights Benefit: At 50 nights, Members will receive 10 Suite Night Awards ™ to use for room upgrades. Suite Night Awards are confirmable five days prior to arrival.
  • Platinum Members (25 Stays or 50 Nights Annually): nowhave the option of complimentary breakfast as part of their welcome gift at check-in. Platinum Members can also choose from bonus Starpoints or a local gift.
  • Gold Members (10 Stays or 25 Nights Annually): now receive a welcome gift at check-in and can choose from bonus Starpoints, complimentary in-room Internet access or a complimentary beverage.
To learn more about these exciting SPG changes that give Members more control over their hotel experience visit spg.com/morepower. All benefits begin March 1, 2012.

SPG Gets a New Look Inspired By Actual Members
To celebrate its new benefits, SPG is updating its brand identity with a new look inspired by the rich personalities of its Members. SPG conducted a casting call for Members to participate in photo shoots with famed portrait photographer Alessandra Petlin. The inspiring photos will be prominently featured in all SPG communications and collateral including more than 90 million member communications a year. The first photo shoot took place in New York and features the Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, W New York - Times Square, W New York – Downtown, Aloft Harlem, The St. Regis New York and Sheraton Tribeca.

Visit spg.com/members to hear personal stories from these Members about their relationship with SPG. Additional casting calls are taking place around the world in 2012. Follow SPG on Facebook.com/spg to learn about the latest locations.

About Starwood Preferred Guest
The SPG program’s breakthrough policy of No Blackout Dates at the world’s most sought after collection of hotels, reinvented the hospitality loyalty program when it launched in 1999. By creating a program centered on its members, SPG has developed the most passionate and knowledgeable membership base in the hotel loyalty space. Through its use of new technologies and innovative channels such as SPG.com, SPG.com/stayconnected, SPG.com/flights and others, SPG continues to innovate and lead the industry. By offering No Blackouts on standard rooms at over 1,000 hotels and resorts in nearly 100 countries, No Blackouts on hundreds of airlines, and once in a lifetime experiences available through SPG Moments at spg.com/moments, the program has proven to be a big draw for the world’s most frequent travelers, and a significant competitive advantage for Starwood. For more information about Starwood Preferred Guest please visit SPG.com.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1071 properties in 100 countries and territories with 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. The company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

Contact:

PMK*BNC
Casey Cotton, 212-373-6156
casey.cotton@pmkbnc.com
or
Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Worldwide, Inc.
Jennifer Leemann, 203-964-4323
jennifer.leemann@starwoodhotels.com


 
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Also See: Starwood Preferred Guest Survey of 9,900 Global Travelers Reveals Loyalty to Frequent Traveler Programs Beyond Reason; Fear of Losing Loyalty-Program Status Looms Larger Than Lost Luggage, Missed Flights / February 2012

Starwood Says Hotel Conversion Opportunities in North America Expected to Rise in 2012 with Uptick in Portfolio Transactions / January 2012

Starwood Closes 2011 Adding the Most New Hotel Rooms in Its History; Momentum Continues with 80 New Hotel Openings Scheduled in 2012 / January 2012

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Relocates Worldwide Headquarters to Stamford, Connecticut; Brings More than 800 Jobs to the State / January 2012

Starwood Hotels Aggressively Expanding its Footprint in India with Plans to Open 20 New Hotels by 2015; Opens New Regional Office in Gurgaon to Support Rapid Growth / January 2012

St. Regis Hotels & Resorts Opens the 100-Story St. Regis Shenzhen Becoming Starwood’s Tallest Hotel Worldwide and One of the Tallest Buildings in China; The 297-key Hotel Occupies the Top 28 Floors / January 2012

As the World Becomes Smaller Music Unites – St. Regis Hotels and Jazz at Lincoln Center, Led by Wynton Marsalis, Form Global Partnership to Open a Series of Worldwide Jazz Clubs Providing Guests Opportunity to Learn about the Rich History and Cultural Value of Jazz / November 2011

Starwood Hotels Launches the Starwood Asia Pacific Villa Collection with Hundreds of Luxury Villas in Resorts Throughout the Region / November 2011

Starwood Hotels Hits 200th Hotel Milestone in Asia Pacific with a Flurry of Recent Openings in China, India, Thailand and Malaysia; Plans for Over 320 Hotels in the Region by 2014 / November 2011

The 214-room Four Points by Sheraton Langkawi Resort Opens in Langkawi, Malaysia; The Brand's Debut in the Asia Pacific Region / November 2011

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Prepares for Opening of Florida's 214-room The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort / October 2011

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Opens The St. Regis Florence in Italy Following an Extension Restoration and Re-flagging of the Grand Hotel Florence / October 2011

Starwood Capital Group and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Enter Management Agreements for the Silvertree Hotel and the Wildwood Lodge in Snowmass Village, Colorado; Extensive Renovations Planned for both Properties / September 2011

Starwood Hotels Signs Agreement with Serka Turizm A.S. to Open a New-Build Sheraton Hotel in Adana, Turkey / August 2011

Starwood to Expand Sheraton and Westin Portfolio of Hotel Spas Across Asia and the Middle East; Sheraton to Add 10 and Westin to Add 6 New Spas by the End of 2011 / July 2011

Starwood's Aloft, Element, and Four Points by Sheraton Portfolio Has Grown 67% in Last Three Years; Will Add Over 30 New Hotels in 2011 / June 2011

Starwood Plans to Open One Hotel Every Two Weeks in China with Over 90 New Hotels in the Pipeline / June 2011

Sheraton Set to Open Seven Properties in China This Summer / June 2011

Silk Way Airlines Signs Agreement with Starwood to Open the 207-room Sheraton Baku Airport Hotel in Azerbaijan / June 2011

726-key Royal Orchid Sheraton Hotel & Towers in Bangkok, Thailand Completes $35 Million Renovation / June 2011

Dr. Hassan Ahmad Ibrahim Al Marzouqi in a Partnership with Starwood Hotels to Open 220-room Four Points by Sheraton Sharjah Hotel in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates / May 2011

Abdulsalam Alrafi Group LLC Signs Agreement with Starwood Hotels to Open the New 660-key Sheraton Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates / May 2011

Starwood Hotels & Resorts to Open Seven Additional Hotels in India in 2011 for a Total of 37 Properties in Portfolio; Plans to Double Footprint in Two Years and Accelerate Growth of Select Service Brands / April 2011

Sheraton Invests Over $100 Million to Upgrade More Than 120 Club Lounges Around the World and Will Now Keep Club Lounges Brand-wide Open Seven Days a Week / April 2011

Starwood Hotels to Open 164-room Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown in Florida; Property is on Track to Become the Brand's First LEED Certified Hotel / April 2011

Sheraton Hotels Will Drive Starwood's Portfolio Growth in 2011 and Widen Lead in China by Opening 25 New Properties in 2011 / March 2011

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Opens 124-room Four Points by Sheraton Memphis East in Memphis Tennessee / March 2011

Starwood Hotels & Resorts to Debut in Sharjah with the New 343-room Sheraton Sharjah Hotel & Resort, North of the Emirate on Al Muntazah Beach / January 2011

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Westin Houston Memorial City Names Sales, Marketing & Catering Team; The Four Points by Sheraton Houston Memorial City, Sheraton Houston West and The Westin Houston Memorial City & Residences Opening Spring 2011 / November 2010

Mark Weatherill Named General Manager for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Memorial City Complex in Houston Featuring Three Brands: Four Points by Sheraton Houston Memorial City, Sheraton Houston West and The Westin Houston Memorial City & Residences Opening Spring 2011 / November 2010


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