Hotel News Now spoke with Choice Hotels International’s Jamie Russo, VP of loyalty programs and customer engagement, to find out what the company’s AMResorts partnership means for loyalty members and owners.
REPORT FROM THE U.S.—With the announcement of Choice Hotels International’s alliance with AMResorts, the company has added more upscale options for Choice Privileges members, said Jamie Russo, VP of loyalty programs and customer engagement at Choice.
Hotel News Now reached out to Russo via email to hear more about the alliance and how it benefits owners and loyalty members, and to get an update on the company’s loyalty initiatives.
Q: What does the partnership with AMResorts mean for loyalty members and owners?
A: “The arrangement is expected to enhance Choice Hotels' award-winning loyalty program, Choice Privileges, by allowing members to earn and redeem points at AMResorts' more than 50 award-winning properties throughout Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America by year end. By offering this new, aspirational vacation option, Choice is further strengthening its loyalty program and giving members yet another reason to stay at our portfolio of hotels for business or leisure travel.”
“Any time new properties are added to our portfolio and we strengthen our Choice Privileges program, current Choice Hotels owners benefit. In addition, 40 million loyalty members will have an opportunity to earn points at AMResorts’ well-known resort brands, and these points can be redeemed at Choice-brand hotels.
“This alliance will also benefit AMResorts, and enable them to leverage our award-winning global reservation system and distribution platform, Choice Edge, which drives more than $9 billion in revenue to the 7,000 hotels in our system annually.”
Q: Can you talk about the details of this initiative and how points redemption will work for loyalty members?
A: “The alliance is expected to add more than 25,000 upscale rooms to the Choice Hotels network, including AMResorts' well-known resort brands Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets, Breathless, Dreams, Now, Reflect, and Sunscape Resorts & Spas, doubling the number of upscale rooms that Choice offers globally. It also will position Choice Hotels as having the largest all-inclusive luxury resort offering of any major U.S. hotel company.”
“The points redemption process will be the same as for any Choice-branded hotel. Loyalty members will earn 10 points per $1 spent at more than 7,000 Choice properties, and as long as members stay active, those points never expire.”
Q: How did this partnership come about?
A: “We’re always looking at opportunities to expand the reach of Choice Privileges. That could be a seasonal promotion … or a collaboration with a hospitality company like AMResorts. When we develop these alliances, Choice Privileges’ ability to drive business appeals strongly to other parties.”
Q: Do you have any plans for similar partnerships with others in the all-inclusive space or other hotels in general?
A: “Choice Hotels is strategic when it comes to forming alliances, and we only consider opportunities that benefit all our stakeholders. With AMResorts, we saw an opportunity to expand our global reach, offer more vacation options to our members and enhance our award-winning loyalty program.”
Q: What value do other loyalty initiatives, such as Book on Google and booking through Google Voice Assistant, bring to owners and loyalty members?
A: “Choice Privileges loyalty members are able to earn points through Book on Google by adding their membership number once they receive confirmation.
“Along with ChoiceHotels.com and the Choice Hotels app, Book on Google and Google Voice Assistant provide our guests with another frictionless path to reserve a hotel room with the benefits of booking direct.”