I have no idea whether anyone in ICHG Marketing lurks here so indulge me.
If I were a stick of Blackpool rock and you were to cut me in half what would be written through the middle would be “Marketeer with a weird mind” all the way through.
What I find frustrating about ICHG and indeed all of the hotel groups is how little they seem to want to engage with and understand what some of their more effluential leisure customers would really like from them. If they took the trouble both they and their customers would benefit. But I don't think that any or many of them get it.
We travel a lot. Often to the same places. Sometimes we go so often we think about buying a property. We made that mistake a few times ….. in fact we have a property in Nice if anyone is interested. Having bought it … we found we preferred Cannes …... Funnily enough mrs uk1
and I also spend time in Vienna and had considered having a place there … but we use the IC. We also have stays in Singapore. But we could go there much more often if the ICHG were more leisure friendly.
ICHG are quite content to see their RA's place many of the referral certs they give them on ebay and of course people buy them. ICHG seem to tolerate the practise although they could stop it if they wanted to. But they aren't prepared to take that cash themselves and sell certificates - and perhaps they shouldn't. I don't know. But perhaps they should think about a hybrid RA membership for leisure customers that they should sell. They need leisure customers. Business customers also need the leisure customers because increasing occupancy is good for all.
What I want is for them to sell me what I might call “Royal Ambassador Leisure” membership. Perhaps it could be around $350 per year. But they will get the cash not someone else. What I'd like for that is something along the lines of the current RA membership ie minibar, upgrades etc but perhaps with the following features.
1. A special booking rate for “Royal Ambassador Leisure” members roughly equivalent to the current Friends and Family rate.
2. Happy to accept a restriction on how far ahead they can be booked ie say 14 days or longe. In other words something that protects their business customer revenue.
3. Happy for a minimum stay criteria say 3 nights for reasons as stated above.
4. Happy to accept that perhaps one of the nights must be a weekend night - again to protect business revenue.
5. A minimum of a double level guaranteed upgrade ie what it says on the booking is the rate for the rooms you book but what is shown at booking is the actual upgrade room or suite you will get. In other words, a guarantee with no surprises or disappointments. What you book is what you will get.
6. The opportunity of perhaps making two bookings on that rate per stay so you can bring family.
7. A store and leave facility. I'd like to buy some stuff I always need for example my pillows and leave them there for my stays. I use to have this facility in a couple of places we use to regularly stay in and it makes your suite your home.
8. Actually quite happy to ditch the weekend cert. Lower rates for each night would be better.
I think that this type of offer would give them revenue and occupancy that they don't currently get. I'd possibly spend say 8 long weekends per year in each of both Cannes and Vienna. We'd also have extended stays in Singapore. I know some will say "you might make RA for those stays" but as you know that's an uncertain route and actually it isn't quite what we need. Wouldn't it be great if they offered a "Royal Ambassador Leisure" member concierge service to smooth all your bookings and arrange limo transfers etc. ..... oh I'm fantacising now ......
Would this idea be attractive to anyone else or is it just me drinking too much?