InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world's leading hotel companies, announced last week the launch of IHG Business Edge, a comprehensive programme designed to enhance the corporate travel experience for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME). So far, 1,500 companies have already signed up as members.
IHG Business Edge was developed based on the insights of 2,100 global SMEs, then piloted with 300 companies across 17 countries. The result is a programme that streamlines the negotiation, reward loyalty, content, booking and data consolidation process into one easily accessible customer portal.
"We knew that there was an unmet need for travel buying programme specifically designed for SMEs - a group of customers who can often be underserved by the industry said Derek DeCross, SVP of global sales at IHG. "We worked together with SMEs to design the programme and they told us that a discount programme alone is not compelling enough to drive their loyalty and engagement. They didn't want lengthy negotiations - but rather a rich discount they could count on, reliable reporting and insight into the latest information, as well as access to a diverse corporate network of other 'similar' organisations."
Through the customer portal, the corporate administrator can monitor essential travel data, including hotel spend, room nights, average daily rate, savings and IHG Rewards Club participation over the previous 12 months. More enhancements will be added in the future. For example, the portal will serve as a gateway to the IHG Business Edge community where administrators can access a content centre with business tools, articles for continuing education, as well as a forum to connect with fellow SMEs.