Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®), Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s award-winning loyalty program, is introducing a new, comprehensive loyalty program for meeting and travel professionals. SPG Pro will debut in October 2014.
The 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. In addition, going forward, any SPG member who books a group stay, event or corporate business meeting, whether they are a travel professional or not, will earn Starpoints and status for the business they influence.
According to Starwood president and CEO Frits van Paasschen, SPG Pro was designed to leverage the strength of SPG, which currently drives more than 50 per cent of the company’s occupancy.
Today, B2B accounts—comprised of corporate travel, meetings and events, and leisure and wholesale travel—accounts for nearly 70 per cent of Starwood’s overall room revenue. Starwood’s 5,000-strong global sales force mange 1,200 global accounts. Christie Hicks, senior vice-president, Starwood Sales Organization, explained that the top one per cent of accounts drives 40 per cent of 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 one per cent share shift in this business, we add $80MM in revenue.”