Chain hotels are a no-go for many travelers who think of themselves as intrepid explorers rather than hot breakfast-hunters. On the other hand, plenty of travelers are of the "if it's not broken, don’t fix it" school and will only book into one brand’s hotels, often in the same cities and near the same restaurants as on vacations past. These loyal brand followers enjoy the chains because of their familiarity and comfort, yes, but also for their rewards and upgrades. But those perks aren’t necessarily enough for travelers who can get their rewards elsewhere (like from credit card programs or the hotels.com Welcome Rewards program) and have no qualms about staying in a Starwood hotel on one trip and a Hyatt on the next. These customers need to be coerced into becoming a brand-loyal jet-setter.
So hotels, including the big, recognizable chains, are putting their hospitality skills to the test by introducing better amenities and services, such as awesome breakfasts and evening get-togethers, to make loyal guests out of everyone. Forward-thinking chains like Hilton, Hyatt, and a number of others, including InterContinental, which has partnered with Silicon Valley-based technology company Nor1, Inc. to offer guests discounts on their premium services and amenities, are offering up new incentives to book a room. They are making it more worthwhile to not only stay with them, but to also take advantage of their loyalty programs.
After booking a reservation, guests receive email offers for perks like reduced-cost upgrades to suites and ocean view-rooms, as well as discounts on spas and hotel dining. It’s a win-win for the hotels that are earning additional revenue while building customer loyalty and for the guests who return again and again for that extra level of service. So look out for opportunities to enhance your next hotel stay for less.
— Nicole Hockin, TravelSmartBlog.com