Starwood is preparing to launch SPG Pro, an
all-new loyalty program for meeting and travel professionals.
Set to debut in October 2014, the new program
will offer meeting and travel professionals SPG elite status,
upgrades and Starpoints for B2B business booked at any of
Starwood’s nearly 1,200 properties around the world.
Plus, any SPG member who books a
group stay, event or corporate business meeting, regardless of if
they are a travel professional or not, will earn Starpoints and
status for the business they influence.
Starwood President and CEO Frits van Paasschen
said that SPG Pro was designed to leverage the strength of SPG,
which today drives more than 50% of the company’s occupancy and
continues to shift consumer business to Starwood hotels.
“The work that we’ve done to make SPG the
richest elite program in the industry has proven that we can
create true and lasting loyalty with our most profitable guests
and shift share of wallet to our hotels,” said van Paasschen.
“With SPG Pro, we’re focusing our powerful loyalty lens on B2B to
cultivate ever stronger and more personal relationships with our
global customers who deliver guests to our hotels.”
Today, B2B accounts for nearly 70% of Starwood’s
overall room revenue and is comprised of corporate travel,
meetings and events and leisure and wholesale travel. With a
sales force of more than 5,000 globally, Starwood’s Sales Offices
manage 1,200 global accounts from more than 30 offices around the
According to Christie Hicks, Senior Vice President,
Starwood Sales Organization, the top 1% of accounts drives 40% of
Starwood’s B2B revenue.
“SPG Pro is a compelling way for Starwood to
reward our global customers, provide more personalized service on
property and really understand the totality of the business our
partners influence,” said Hicks. “SPG Pro will also help us extend
our reach beyond our managed accounts to attract new businesses,
regional organizations and a next generation of travel
professionals. New global travel patterns are driving more
corporate, leisure and meetings business than ever before and with
each 1% share shift in this business, we add $80M in revenue.”
In addition to travel pros, Starwood is also
targeting a new source of untapped B2B potential: its most loyal
According to Mark Vondrasek, Starwood’s Senior Vice
President of Distribution, Loyalty and Partnership Marketing, 34%
of SPG’s elite Platinum guests, who may be senior executives or
business consultants or small business owners, book meetings and
events in hotels.
“As we’ve gotten closer to our
best guests through SPG, we’ve learned that while one-third of our
elite members are also B2B decision makers. Starwood only gets a
40% share of that part of their business,” said Vondrasek. “We
realized there was a great opportunity to recognize our guests’
business holistically, beyond just our guest rooms. By rewarding
business like corporate off sites, product launches or even
personal events like weddings, we build greater stickiness with
our loyal guests, who in turn become an extension of our sales
Meeting and travel professionals can now
register for SPG Pro, and registered professionals, as well as SPG Members who influence
group, event and corporate travel, will begin earning Starpoints
for business booked starting in October 2014.
Pro marks the first time accredited travel agents will have the opportunity to earn Starpoints and elite status with SPG.
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