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Let’s kick it off with Taj-Shangrila tie up.

Thanks to the merger of Starwood, Marriott and Ritz Carlton, there is a major change coming in the hospitality business. There is a new wave of changing coming for the customers. 

Two of Asia’s iconic luxury chains, Taj and Shangri-La, have formed a strategic alliance to increase their reach and market share in the highly competitive hospitality industry. The two companies will launch a brand-new guest loyalty program called Warmer Welcomes, which will integrate Taj’s InnerCircle and Shangri-La’s Golden Circle rewards programs.

Warmer Welcomes will make its debut next March and the joint loyalty program will allow the six million members to earn and redeem points for stays at a combined network of 200 hotels in 27 countries.

As there is an almost negligible presence of Shangrila in India and Taj overseas, there is not a major overlap taking place as with Marriott property everywhere.  Taj hotels have over 108 properties in India. 

Status Match

Shangri-la has a 3 tier status program where Gold is the entry level and Diamond the highest, while Taj has a 4 tier program: Copper, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Status matches will work at the mid-tier and elite levels. In order to match status Shangri-La’s Diamond members will be matched with Taj’s Platinum membership level, the Golden Circle mid-tier Jade members will be matched with Gold status in the Taj InnerCircle program.

Taj Inner Circle Shangri-La
Taj Platinum Shangri-La Diamond
Taj Gold Shangri-La Jade
Taj Silver and Copper Shangri-La Gold
Note: Last point is just a reference as Taj Silver has a negligible value in either program. There is not much upside to Taj Silver anyway.

Do keep in mind that to receive reciprocal benefits TIC and GC members must first interlink their accounts on both programs.


Earning & Redeeming Points

Under this new alliance, the value of Golden Circle points to InnerCircle points has been fixed in the ratio of 3:2. That means that every 100 Golden Circle points will equal to 67 InnerCircle points. Which means that GC  members staying at a Taj hotel will now earn 3 GC Award Points for every USD 5 spent, and TIC members will receive 4 TIC Points for every USD 5 expended on eligible stays.  A minimum of 100 and a maximum of 250,000 Award Points can be converted between the 2 programs every calendar year.

What does this mean?

We are not sure what would happen in the end. We are expecting loyalty program to devalue over the period. This is actually the ideal time where the customer can reap benefits of the mergers and get higher status. It definitely looks like they would increase the criteria to attain the status for either program. 

 

 
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Cody is a travel consultant and full-time traveler from India. He holds a deep background in Network and Network Security. Something that enabled him to develop the hacker mindset. He uses his hacker mindset to travel Luxuriously and to stay in suites in 5-star hotels and resorts and fly business or first class at very economical prices by applying various travel hacks to enrich his and his client's life. He helps people maximizing their travel portfolio. He believes that your current travel should reward your future travels. Cody initially traveled as a backpacker and stayed in modest locations and over the period has improved his life by using all his travel hacks to stay in top-end luxury locations across the world. Cody has traveled over 60 countries in last 5 years. Cody is a blogger, motivator, storyteller, travel consultant and a life coach. He has been featured in multiple publications such as Times of India, Dainik Bhaskar, magazines such as Men’s Health. He was invited to inspire people on a platform such as TEDx. He has trained over 100s of people achieve their lifestyle goals.

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