Thursday, February 29, 2024

Hyatt Enhances Loyalty Program To Benefit Guests, Event Planners, Owners

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Hyatt Hotels Corp. has updated its World of Hyatt loyalty program to offer more flexible choices for its members.

The Chicago-based company, which has a portfolio of more than 1,300 hotels and all-inclusive properties in 76 countries across six continents, currently has more than 40 million World of Hyatt loyalty members. This number has quadrupled from five years ago, Hyatt Senior Vice President of brand, loyalty and data Amy Weinberg said in an interview with Hotel News Now.

Program changes include the newly expanded World of Hyatt Milestone Rewards, a reimagined “Guest of Honor” benefit and an enhanced loyalty model for meeting and event planners.

“With the program updates, members will be recognized more frequently along their journey with World of Hyatt and choose whether to use their award or share their gift-eligible awards with those they care about. Milestone Rewards will begin after 20 qualifying nights or 35,000 base points per year and continue for each 10 qualifying nights, up to 150 nights,” according to a Hyatt news release.

Hyatt’s loyalty tier starts with member, then “discoverist,” “explorist,” globalist and finally lifetime globalist.

At every milestone, members will be able to choose between earning points for future stays across the globe, enhancing their next stay with benefits such as upgrades or partaking in a well-being experience.

Weinberg said Hyatt knows people have different needs and value different things. These enhancements give more opportunity for Hyatt’s loyalty members to engage.

“One of the things that we had and that is very valued by globalists today is the ‘Guest of Honor’ benefit, which is the ability to redeem on behalf of someone else and when that person travels they are treated as a globalist. You will see the ability to gift awards, even some of the new ones we’re bringing in being much broader than it has been,” she said. “Reimagining the Guest of Honor benefit into an award [allows] even an explorist who might be hitting 40 nights [to] earn a Guest of Honor award and feel that benefit of a globalist even before they achieve it.”

World of Hyatt is also rewarding its business-to-business customers such as eligible meeting and event planners, travel advisers and small business administrators.

“Those planning events or booking on behalf of travelers will earn two qualifying night credits toward tier status for every $5,000, up to $150,000, in eligible spend each year on qualifying events, bookings through Hyatt Privé, or when making a qualifying booking through Hyatt channels with an IATA number associated with their World of Hyatt membership. That’s up to 60 qualifying night credits, enough to earn globalist status,” the news release states.

Beth Lubotsky, head of loyalty strategy at Hyatt, said now felt like the right time to better reward meeting and event planners as group business across the industry continues to grow.

Hyatt also aimed to simplify the model.

“If you are a meeting and event planner, you probably also travel as a transient traveler. With this new structure, both the eligible spend you bring to Hyatt as a planner will earn you qualifying nights as well as the transient travel you have with Hyatt. All of that comes together into one place now to help you earn both the milestone rewards as well as tier status,” she added.

By making this enhancement, Weinberg said it’s an opportunity to drive more meetings and group business to hotels across Hyatt’s portfolio.

On the owner side, there isn’t much that’s new, and that’s by design, Weinberg said.

“We want to be very thoughtful about the day-to-day operations in hotels, so we want to lean into things that they do well today. We’ve been very thoughtful not to create extra work and allow our operators and owners to continue to extend that care to members,” she said. “We think a lot about the economics of our owners in all of our changes. We are responsible to them; that is our job — to bring high-value travelers to them. The changes that we are making is more in the guest and the customer space with an eye towards bringing more value to our owners, but not necessarily a lot of additional work or changes for them in how they operate.”

Lubotsky said it takes many months to formulate the right strategy with loyalty offerings and it requires conversations with all stakeholders such as World of Hyatt members, members of other programs and Hyatt’s owners and employees.

“It is a balance of introducing new, differentiated offerings with owner economics in mind always. But ultimately trying to fuel the growth of the program by driving additional loyalty from the ever-growing member population we have.”

Read more news on Hotel News Now.

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