Yesterday I shared the details of Hilton’s first of two global HHonors promotion in 2015, entitled Double Your HHonors.
Through this promotion members can choose either double HHonors base points or double airline miles for stays at qualifying hotels between March 1 and May 31, 2015.
Non-participating Hilton hotels
While the details of Hilton’s promotion were released yesterday, they only unveiled the list of non-participating hotels today.
As is the norm, there are a number of Hilton family properties that chose not to participate in their global promotion.
In this case, 776 Hilton properties are choosing not to participate… and 755 of those properties are in the US. Hilton has 4,200 properties worldwide, so globally over 18% of hotels are choosing not to participate.
In the US, nearly as many hotels have opted out of the promotion as have opted in.
Why do so many hotels opt out?
To be clear, I’m not blaming the individual hotels here. A lot of Hilton’s limited service properties (like Hampton Inn) are franchised, so they’re run in a lean way with a very small marketing budget.
I get why many hotels don’t see the upside to participating in a promotion:
- They assume that most guests stay at their property because of price and/or location, especially since they largely have pretty “secluded” locations
- They assume they’ll already get some “spillover” from people that registered for the promotion, without looking at the properties that chose not to participate
And I actually don’t think they’re wrong. Nowadays hotel promotions just aren’t as lucrative as they used to be. I don’t remember the last time I saw a promotion from Hilton HHonors which I thought was worth switching hotels over.
What does that say about loyalty programs?
It’s interesting to compare Hilton to Hyatt. At Hyatt, every hotel participates in every global promotion. At the end of the day Hyatt is a smaller chain and has fewer limited service properties, but clearly they’re able to communicate their vision to their hoteliers, and they buy into it.
Which makes you wonder what kind of a sales pitch Hilton HHonors is doing to hotels. Clearly they’re not doing a good job selling hotels on the value of a loyalty program if they can’t get the individual hotels to buy in. And if the individual hotels aren’t buying into what they’re offering, maybe it’s time they switch things up.
This is nothing new, though it is interesting to see that literally more US properties are opting out than are opting in with this Hilton promotion.
What do you make of the number of hotels opting out?