Carlson Revamps, Simplifies Loyalty Program for Hotels

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Carlson Hotels Worldwide, Minneapolis, unveiled a redesigned loyalty program yesterday that combines all of its hotel loyalty programs under one umbrella with one name and earnings structure. Previously, each Carlson hotel brand had its own program with its own name and the earning structure varied.


The new program, called goldpoints plus, allows members to redeem their points at more than 800 participating Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn locations worldwide. The hotel brands represent all of the Carlson-affiliated hotels in the United States, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean and some international partner properties.


The previous program was "confusing to the consumer, so we spent time talking to consumers and to our hoteliers to see what makes the most sense," said Carlson spokeswoman Joan Cronson. "We wanted to simplify it, make it more convenient, flexible and clearer."


Members also will have access to the Gold Points Reward Network, which was developed by sister company Carlson Marketing Group, Minneapolis. Both are divisions of marketing, travel and hospitality company Carlson.


The network includes more than 100 online retail partners as well as award selections such as dining, gift certificates and merchandise options. Carlson's restaurant operations, including T.G.I. Friday's, and Radisson Seven Seas Cruises are part of the network.


While the brands had access to this network previously, "each program within each brand was a little bit different. Now it's much smoother," Cronson said.


The relaunched program offers three levels of membership: Base; Silver Elite; and Gold Elite. Upon reaching the Elite tier levels, guests can obtain 50 percent and 75 percent bonuses, respectively, on the points earned on hotel stays. Members need a minimum of 5,000 points to qualify for Silver Elite status each year.


The program will be supported by a national promotional campaign, including ads on CNN's business traveler network. Ads will begin running in USA Today on Jan. 17.


Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters





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