Hilton, Marriott and IHG are usually thought to be the big hotel chains (at least in the US) but Accor has over 4000 properties and 30 brands, although not all brands participate yet.
Their Le Club Accorhotels is still relatively young, and has itself already been rebranded away from Accor A|Club. They added elite benefits to the program five years ago but especially as they’ve added premium brands to the chain and added non-hotel companies to the group they’ve known they’ve needed to broaden and improve their loyalty program.
Currently, after all, upgrades are only to the next room category and late checkout is subject to availability.
Mostly we get marketing claims. Like Hyatt and now Marriott there’s aspirations beyond anything that’s actually being delivered. Marriott says they’re re-imagining rewards with the launch of Bonvoy except the program is exactly the same as before the new name so nothing has been reimagined. The only changes announced are that reward nights are getting more expensive.
Normally I’d just roll my eyes at a tag line like “Bringing Augmented Hospitality to life” but I expect that since the changes to Accor have been to date modest, thought he chain’s ambitions haven’t been, that overall we will actually see improvements — even though they haven’t told us what they are yet (generally not a good sign).
The good news is that with writing like this they can’t possibly have spent the full program budget on the announcement,
Accor announces today a disruptive and dramatic shift of its loyalty program into a fully integrated global platform integrating rewards, services, and experiences across our entire ecosystem to bring value everyday life whether you work, live or play.
This new lifestyle loyalty program will recognize, understand, cherish, communicate with and reward guests like never before giving access to “ALL of Accor”.
They are promising:
- New elite status
- Better benefits “according to our augmented hospitality strategy”
- Earn and burn across more brands and a new app
- Partnerships with venues “providing over 60 000 tickets and private suites for our loyalty members in Latin America, Asia and Europe” along with “chef masterclasses and culinary encounters for our best members courtesy of our loyalty program” and starting next year “the best of Taste Festivals in London, Paris, Sao Paulo, Hong Kong and Toronto, with growth and expansion of the partnership into new cities over the next three years.”
The loyalty program is also becoming Principal Partner and jersey sponsor of the Paris Saint-Germain Football Club effective with the 2019/2020 season.
Basically all we know is that there will be a new loyalty program, probably mostly marketing changes but I believe some unspecified improvements too, and new partnerships that won’t be super relevant to folks in the US.
Over time we’ll see them better integrate their hotel investments and their non-hotel investments through the new program. For now though the program announcement seems… premature.