Hotel loyalty schemes are never really heralded as trendsetters in business but the recent announcement of the integration of Shangri-La Resorts Golden Circle and Taj Hotels Inner Circle’s loyalty programmes does suggest both hotel groups are ahead of the curve.
At a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) strategy slowly takes shape and mirrors the more multilateral world of trade of the Ming Dynasty during the 14th and 15th centuries, the two hotel groups joint program ties together 131 destinations in China, India, South East Asia, the Middle East, United Kingdom, Europe, Africa and The Americas.
Industry first alliance
So, while the world’s manufacturers, technology companies and professional service firms garner most of the headlines in the globalisation and trade story, Shangri-La and Taj have quietly signed a world-first alliance which reflects the realpolitik of world trade in the early 21st century.
The program titled “Warmer Welcomes” offers members of the two loyalty schemes reciprocal benefits and the opportunity to earn their preferred loyalty currency when staying at any Shangri-La or Taj property.
To kick off the new joint program, members of either scheme will receive triple points through to June 30 this year when they book into Shangri-La or Taj properties once they have linked their account to the respective program’s website for automatic status matching.
As for the hotel groups’ themselves, their respective global footprints reflect a more multilateral world of business with Shangri-La International currently operating over 95 hotels in 22 countries and 73 destinations under the Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Kerry Hotels, Hotel Jen and Traders Hotels brands. Taj Hotels Palaces and resorts are one of Asia’s largest group of hotels, comprising 101 hotels in 64 destinations across the globe.
And for loyalty members who link their accounts, they can instantly convert points to redeem awards and benefits from either program.
For more information, a highly visual microsite, www.warmerwelcomes.com, was customised for the alliance and responds digitally across all devices.