InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has introduced IHG Business Edge, a programme designed to enhance the corporate travel experience for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The programme is designed to streamline the negotiation process, reward loyalty and consolidate data, content and booking into one customer portal. 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.
With future enhancements, the portal will also serve as the gateway to the IHG Business Edge community where administrators can access a content centre with business tools, articles for continuing education and a forum to connect with fellow SME travel administrators.
Companies with less than 250 employees and up to US$50 million in revenue, and that spend at least US$5,000 with IHG annually, are welcome to join the IHG Business Edge community.
This will give them discounted rates at participating hotels across IHG’s portfolio of more than 5,400 properties across 15 brands. Participating travellers also enjoy the benefits of IHG Rewards Club Gold Elite status after completing their first stay.
IHG Business Edge has been in development for the past year, and was built based on the insights of 2,100 global SME customers, and then piloted with 300 companies across 17 countries. Prior to launch, IHG shared that 1,500 companies have already signed up as members.
Derek DeCross, senior vice president, Global Sales, IHG, said: “We knew that there was an unmet need for a travel buying programme specifically designed for SMEs – a group of customers who can often be underserved by the industry. 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.”