There are some interesting developments when it comes to the ways that hotel loyalty programs are cooperating with home sharing. Historically hotels have viewed home sharing as a big competitor, though are they starting to realize that they’re better off working together?
Hyatt and Oasis recently launched a close partnership
At the beginning of March it was announced that Oasis Rentals is being fully integrated into the World of Hyatt program. Oasis offers 2,000 home rentals in more than 20 destinations worldwide, and is a bit different than Airbnb because they offer some hotel-style amenities. The reason this move wasn’t so surprising on Hyatt’s part is because Hyatt has a strategic minority investment in Oasis.
What made this so interesting is that historically hotels think of home sharing as a competitor that they wouldn’t want to work with, but with this partnership Hyatt essentially acknowledged that there are occasions where home sharing is a better option than hotels.
The way Hyatt did it, Oasis became part of the Unbound Collection, which is Hyatt’s independent hotel brand. That’s an interesting way for them to integrate Oasis, since the homes are almost being treated like hotels.
I guess it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but one of Hyatt’s competitors is matching them almost exactly, though I’m not sure what exactly is in it for them.
Marriott & Starwood introduce Tribute Portfolio Homes
Marriott is already the world’s largest hotel group, though I guess that’s not stopping them from trying to grow even further. Specifically, Marriott is launching a trial partnership with Homestay, where Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest members will be able to earn and redeem points, as well as receive elite nights, for stays at homes.
Marriott is essentially integrating these homes into Tribute Portfolio, which is Starwood’s independent hotel collection.
Here’s how they describe Tribute Portfolio Homes being different than other home sharing experiences:
Every property within Tribute Portfolio Homes is vetted and reviewed by our hospitality experts. Properties meet rigorous safety, security and design standards before they are accepted as part of Tribute Portfolio Homes. We have partnerships with local property management experts, like Hostmaker, who provide 24/7 support to our guests during their stay. We also strive to make travel easy and stress-free for our guests through offering 24 hour in-person check-in; high speed wi-fi; premium bed linens and fluffy white towels – all expertly laundered; full-sized bath amenities; cooking essentials; and child-friendly items, such as high chairs and travel cribs. Additionally, staying with Tribute Portfolio Homes allows our guests to earn with Marriott Rewards or SPG.
As far as the loyalty program benefits of Tribute Portfolio Homes go:
- Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest members can earn one elite qualifying night for every night booked through tributeportfoliohomes.com
- Members will earn five points per dollar spent, which is only half of the 10 points you usually earn for stays at most Marriott brands
- Points should appear in your account within 3-6 weeks of the completion of a stay
- Members can’t yet use points for stays at these homes, but they’re planning to add this functionality in the future
It’s clear that Marriott is just testing the waters here. The partnership between Hyatt and Oasis makes sense, since Hyatt owns a stake in Oasis. However, in this case we’re just seeing a marketing partnership between Marriott and Homestay. It seems odd to have an agreement like this when you have no financial stake in the company otherwise, since you’re just sending customers to your competitors.
Then again, there’s little downside to this trial, since it’s just homes in London, so it’s not like they’re partnering with Airbnb, or anything. Perhaps they’re trying to see if they find that consumers actually different uses for hotels vs. home sharing, and how they can best leverage that. However, I feel like that would work better if they actually had a more rewarding structure and offered 10 points per dollar, elite bonuses, and more (though perhaps that’s not practical, given the commission split they’re getting).
What do you make of Tribute Portfolio Homes? Would a loyalty program partnership like this cause you to give them a try?
(Tip of the hat to Sean)