Hotel Online  Special Report



Cendant Franchisees Learn How Customer
Loyalty Program Will Drive Business
Number-one Marketing Initiative for 2004
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (Oct. 16, 2003) – When Cendant Corporation’s TripRewards® loyalty program is fully launched across the company’s nine hotel brands in December, it will boast more than 2 million members and the greatest distribution of any lodging loyalty program in the world with 6,000 participating hotels, it was announced here today.

Franchisees attending the Ramada®, Travelodge®, Knights Inn® and Villager brand conferences here this week learned that the TripRewards program, which will be introduced to their customers in December, is designed to drive businesses to their hotels by attracting first-time guests and building the loyalty of existing customers.

The points-based program was kicked off by Cendant’s Wingate Inn brand earlier this month and soon will be launched by its Howard Johnson brand.  Cendant’s AmeriHost Inn, Super 8 and Days Inn will follow suit in December.

“Research consistently proves that travelers double to quadruple their use of a brand after enrolling in a loyalty program,” said Peter Strebel, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Cendant’s Hotel Group.  “Also, members of points-based programs stay an average of eight nights per year.”

Cendant franchisees of all lodging brands also are expected to enjoy the “spillover effect” that occurs when TripRewards members look for alternative accommodations when their preferred brand is unavailable, he said.  “TripRewards members naturally will select Cendant brands over the competition because they won’t want to miss out on earning points.”

Strebel said TripRewards will “outclass other hotel loyalty programs with superior features” including more than 50 retail partners who will offer TripRewards points.  The program’s unique “open earn” structure will allow members to earn points both by staying in Cendant-franchised hotels and purchasing partner products and services, he added.

Likewise, the program will allow members to redeem points for either hotel stays or a wide array of partner rewards including airline tickets, resort vacations, electronics, home appliances, sporting goods, movie and theme park tickets and gift certificates from more than 100 retailers and restaurants, he said.

“TripRewards also will feature awards the competition can’t offer: stays in 3,700 world-class resorts in 100 countries through Cendant’s Resorts Condominiums International affiliate, the world’s leading global provider of products and services to the time-share industry,” Strebel said.

Another key feature is flexibility, Strebel said.  TripRewards members may elect to earn either TripRewards points, airline miles or rail points for their hotel stays.  A hassle-free online system will allow members to check points and redeem for rewards 24 hours a day.

Calling TripRewards the Hotel Group’s “number-one marketing initiative for 2004,” Strebel said the program would “get a boost from an unprecedented marketing campaign in January, including television commercials, print advertisements, Internet-based advertising, publicity, promotions and direct mail.”

Strebel thanked the franchisees for participating in special TripRewards training, noting that nearly 4,000 franchisees and hotel employees have been trained and certified for TripRewards and another 5,000 scheduled for training, “making this one of our largest training initiatives ever.”

Strebel promised that an incentive program would be launched in December to reward hotel employees for enrolling new members.  He urged franchisees to display TripRewards collateral, encourage guests to enroll while on property and add the TripRewards logo to all local advertising, rack cards and other promotion literature.

“Let’s seize this unique opportunity to introduce our fine brands to new travelers, remind existing customers that we appreciate and value their business and aggressively gain market share,” he said.

In addition to the 2 million original TripRewards members who will be converted from existing Cendant lodging loyalty programs, the 600,000 combined members of FairfieldTM Resorts and Trendwest® Resorts will be enrolled during the first quarter of 2004, he said.  Fairfield is one of the largest U.S. vacation ownership companies, with 64 locations from Hawaii to Florida and the Caribbean.  Trendwest operates a network of 47 condominium resorts in the United States, Canada, Hawaii, Mexico and Fiji.

Cendant Corporation’s Hotel Group, based in Parsippany, N.J., is the world’s largest lodging franchisor with 6,432 open hotels representing 523,635 rooms on five continents under the Super 8®, Days Inn®, Ramada®, Travelodge®, Howard Johnson®, Knights Inn®, Villager, Wingate Inn® and AmeriHost Inn® brands.  Cendant’s franchised hotels sell one out of every four economy and midpriced room-nights in the United States, and Cendant franchises 11.8 percent of the entire U.S. hotel room supply, according to Smith Travel Research.  All hotels are individually owned and operated under franchise agreements with Cendant subsidiaries.

Rich Roberts
Vice President, Communications
Cendant Corporation, Hotel Group 
(973) 496-0750
Also See: Cendant's Nearly 4,000 Hotels Distributed through Five Third-party Booking Web Sites / June 2003
Nicole Johnson-Reece Named Vice President, Diversity and Community Involvement for Cendant Corporation’s Hotel Group / October 2003

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