As global hotel brands like Starwood and Marriott get bigger and expand their footprint and customer base through extended loyalty partnerships, regional hoteliers are not far behind exploring loyalty alliances.
Earlier this year, Starwood and ITC loyalty programs expanded their collaboration, allowing Club ITC members and SPG members to use their points on each others’ properties. Now Taj Hotels and Resorts have joined hands together with Hong Kong based Shangri-La hotels to form a new loyalty partnership named The Warmer Welcomes.
The Warmer Welcomes program will link Taj’s Inner Circle and Shangri-La’s Golden Circle and is all set to debut in March 2017. This alliance will bring together about five million Golden Circle members and nearly one million Taj InnerCircle members. Members will have the opportunity for status matching, earning and redeeming points across both hotel brands.
Warmer Welcomes Status equation
Taj’s InnerCircle program has four tiers (Copper, Silver, Gold, Platinum) and Shangri-La’s Golden Circle has three tiers (Gold, Jade, Diamond). Status equation in the new program will be incorporated in a way that the entry level status is the same for members of both loyalty programs.
- Shangri-la Golden Circle’s top tier Diamond status will be equated with Taj InnerCircle’s Platinum level.
- Shangri- la Golden Circle’s mid tier Jade status will be equated to Gold and Silver in Taj InnerCircle.
- Shangri-La Golden Circle’s entry level Gold status will equated with Taj Innercircle’s Copper status
Warmer Welcomes Members can Earn & Redeem Points on both Programs
Under this new alliance, value of Golden Circle points to InnerCircle points has been fixed in the ratio of 3:2. That means that every 100 Golden Circle points will equal to 67 InnerCircle points.
Taj curently has about 100 hotels globally, where 80% hotels are located in India. Where as Shangri-La has about 95 hotels and resorts mainly in Asia, while there are only 2 hotels in India. So in terms of footprint cover both brands will definitely have a larger , mutually exclusive footprint.
As for the member, the choice of earning rewards and redeeming them across a wider portfolio of hotels is definitely appealing. Members will now have a choice to earn and redeem points across 195 hotels in 131 destinations.
What do you think about this collaboration between Taj & Shangri-La?