Could We See This Once Popular Hotel Promotion Make A Comeback?

by joeheg

When travel starts to pick up again, hotels will need to fill rooms. I was sitting around and thinking about which hotel promotion would be best suited to encourage people to stay at a hotel brand. Offering bonus points for multiple stays isn’t going to be appealing because even if people start traveling, I doubt it’s going to be as much as before.

With room prices being depressed, earning a bunch of points that are worth relatively less than before isn’t going to be appealing. Who needs more points when you have an account full of ones from your canceled trips over the last six months?

A promo that offers rooms for a reduced number of points seems like it might work. Which program provided this type of discount regularly until they just stopped doing so this January?

IHG, that’s who.

Will PointBreaks Rates Come Back?

Will the PointBreaks promotion make a comeback in a post-coronavirus travel world? Think about it. It’s the perfect promotion for trying to unload extra inventory. Instead of there only being pockets of destinations needing travelers, this time it’s worldwide. Hotels in every country will be looking to re-stimulate interest in travel. What’s going to get people traveling again is seeing other people travel safely.

Instead of having to launch an entirely new promotion, IHG already has one that people are familiar with. With PointBreaks, you’re offering discounted rooms for bookings not too far into the future. When people start to travel, they’ll want to get away right away after being locked down for months.

If you need to fill your NYC hotels, why not offer some of the Kimpton properties or the Intercontinental and Crowne Plaza for 15,000 points a night instead of the 60,000 to 70,000 points a night they now would cost. You could fill those rooms with people from the Tri-State area who could drive instead of fly.

For those who are going on a road trip, hotels on the side of the interstate could go for 5,000 a night. The template is there. You just need to fill it in.


Timing is going to be the key. Who knows when travel will start again? It will also begin in some regions of the world before others. This also works for PointBreaks hotels as you can target which area has a large number of hotels available and which ones don’t.

You can give great deals on hotels used for mainly domestic travel around the world first and then add the resorts that specialize in international tourists at a later date.

Final Thoughts

IHG’s PointBreaks promotion died out because hotels no longer wanted to offer rooms at a discount. Occupancy rates were high, and so were the room rates. Only hotels in overbuilt areas or seasonal destinations needed to unload extra room inventory and room rates in those locations were already depressed.

We’re re-entering the world where the PointBreaks promotion was born – plenty of extra hotel rooms available at desirable locations few guests that can afford travel. The way we’ve gotten back to this place is different from before, with health, economic and diplomatic issues in play, but PointBreaks is well suited to fit into this world.

Will this happen? I don’t know. I just thought it was interesting how a once loved promotion that fell out of favor and was just scrapped might be precisely what’s needed when we start to work our way out of this hole.

#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


DaninMCI April 7, 2020 - 5:01 pm

Forget that we need AA to put out a new “old fashion” US Air Grand-slam contest, now that would light the travel blogs on fire 🙂

Christian April 7, 2020 - 6:39 pm

It was actually too generous, but Hyatt’s One Two Free was pretty amazing. Stay two nights at any Hyatt hotel, even a super cheap property, and get a free night anywhere at all. Even something along those lines but weaker would be a pretty amazing incentive. Maybe the free night could be at an equal of lesser category hotel.


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