Starwood, Emirates unveil Your World Rewards for loyalty programme members

Posted: November 18, 2014 in travel & tourism

starwood logoStarwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc and the Emirates Airline have announced a new partnership aimed at providing reciprocal benefits to both Emirates Skywards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members.

The programme, Your World Rewards, which begins November 19, allows Skywards and SPG elite members who register to elevate their earnings and benefits when they fly with Emirates or stay with Starwood.

With Your World Rewards, registered Emirates Skywards and SPG members will now earn in the air, on the ground and around the world. Whether on business or leisure, Emirates Skywards and SPG members will enjoy the best in travel from take-off to check-out with rich benefits, personal service and extensive access around the world through this partnership of two loyalty programmes.

Starwood presently operates five hotels in Nigeria, in Abuja, Akwa Ibom, Port Harcourt and two hotels in Lagos, under its Sheraton, Le Meridien and Four Points by Sheraton brands. By 2015, Starwood will open three additional hotels in Nigeria, one property in Benin City and two in Lagos.

Elite Emirates Skywards and SPG members will receive exclusive rewards of each loyalty program. Skywards Gold and Platinum members will have the opportunity to upgrade their hotel experience, receiving exclusive benefits including access to SPG elite check-in, 4:00 p.m. late check-out and complimentary in-room Internet access. In turn, all SPG Platinum members will enjoy some of the advantages of Emirates Skywards elite like priority check-in and priority boarding when flying Emirates. Members will also receive complimentary e-gate access for flights in and out of Dubai.

Members will also earn bonus Starpoints when they fly with Emirates and bonus Miles when they stay with SPG on top of their usual earnings. Elite SPG members will earn one Starpoint per dollar, in addition to Skywards Miles, for all eligible Emirates operated flights; and all Emirates Skywards Silver, Gold and Platinum members will earn the equivalent of one Mile per dollar, on top of Starpoints, for all eligible stays at Starwood hotels and resorts worldwide. Conversion rates will be adjusted for local currencies.

“The combination of Emirates’ growing global network, Starwood’s innovative take on hospitality and our top-rated loyalty programs allow us to recognize our most valuable customers with a heightened level of service and greater rewards wherever they travel – be it to one of our more than 140 destinations or at any of Starwood’s 1,200 hotels,” said Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Emirates Airline. “This partnership unites two like-minded companies with complementary global footprints, putting more rewards on the map and taking our most loyal guests’ travel to new heights.”

As one of the leading global airlines, Emirates is constantly adding new routes and new destinations, connecting more people with more places. To date, Emirates has 55 A380 in their fleet and is receiving an average of two of these supersized aircrafts per month. Particularly, the U.S. market has been a growing market for Emirates, adding Boston and Chicago as its latest U.S. destinations in 2014 and upgrading its routes to Dallas/Fort Worth to an A380 with San Francisco and Houston to follow shortly. In total, Emirates serves more than 140 destinations in more than 80 countries across 6 continents. With its hub in Dubai, it connects the West with the East – providing customers from the Americas, Europe and Africa service to destinations in the Far East and Australasia, West Asia, Indian Ocean and Middle East and vice versa.

“We are living in a new Golden Age of Travel with more people from more places travelling than ever before,” said Mark Vondrasek, Senior Vice President, Distribution, Loyalty and Partnership Marketing at Starwood. “Your World Rewards allows us to cultivate even greater loyalty with travellers from the world’s fastest-growing travel markets. As Emirates increasingly connects East with West, and the emerging markets to the developed world, their reach dovetails perfectly with Starwood’s preeminent high-end, global footprint and our pipeline of new hotels, 75% of which will open in emerging markets.”

According to Vondrasek, SPG membership has grown 400% in key emerging markets over the last five years. And as the Middle East continues to emerge as a premier global gateway, and the crossroads of new world travel patterns, it is also increasingly a source of new frequent travelers. The Middle East is SPG’s third fastest-growing market behind China and India and one of the top 10 travel destinations for SPG members. Today, Starwood is the largest high-end hotel company in the region and expects to grow its footprint by 70 per cent over the next five years, specifically in Dubai and other Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, where tourism is on the rise.

With 82 operating hotels and more than 20 hotels expected to open by the end of 2015 in the region, Starwood is on track to reach a milestone 100 hotels across its Middle East and Africa portfolio.


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