A new startup that gives independent hotels access to a loyalty programme – a sell-point traditionally seen as the domain of chains – is looking to grow its membership in Asia.
Loyal Guest, which launched in 3Q2018, says independent hotels can enjoy loyalty opportunities without having to forsake control over management or branding, according to Chatuporn Ruttalaungsak, the company’s Thailand general manager.
“So far, we don’t see any others like us who offer a loyalty programme for independent hotels. Chain hotels have their own programmes (and a larger portfolio of participating hotels)… It is difficult for independent hotels without being part of a similar (programme to entice guests), she told TTG Asia at ATF last week.
“And we are not like hotel representation or management companies (in that) our members get to run things however they like, except they gain access a loyalty programme,” she added.
The Singapore-registered company allows guests to earn and redeem points at member hotels.
From an independent hotel standpoint, loyalty opportunities may be considerable now given the size of Loyal Guest’s current portfolio, which spans 85 independent hotels in Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam.
But as the startup grows, it remains to be seen if its value proposition to hotels would continue to be as strong.
Chatuporn told TTG Asia that the business model is not limited to hotel membership. It is currently also pursuing tie-ups with attractions and tours.
“We are not only for hotels but also for tourist attractions, car rentals, departmental stores or any business related to hospitality. We are looking for opportunities to tie up with tours and activities,” shared Chatuporn.