“Guests receive a free night if they find a qualifying lower price on any other website through IHG’s Best Price Guarantee”
A bold statement from InterContinental Hotels Group! On 20th September, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) announced they were “pioneering the way forward” with the launch of ‘Best Price Guarantee’ and new ‘Book With Us Advantage’ which will provide the most powerful website guarantee to guests booking on any of the IHG brand sites. They even go as far to say that any guest who finds a qualifying, lower room price for an IHG hotel elsewhere online will receive their first night free, and the rest of their stay will match the price found.
“IHG understands how much price influences a guest’s booking decision,” says Michael Menis, Vice President – IHG Web and Interactive Marketing. “We are so confident we have the best prices for our hotels on our websites, that if guests find a lower price elsewhere online, we will back it up with the most powerful guarantee ever offered in the hotel industry and give them their first night free and the rest of their stay at the lower price found. The ‘Best Price Guarantee’ is our pledge to IHG guests that we understand their needs – and are backing it up with a free night.”
A bold statement from InterContinental Hotels Group, but it could be the first move to seeing clearer rate parity in the hotel industry. Rate parity it often talked about as a major issue in the hotel industry – both for the end consumer, HBA and the brand/hotel itself. With more and more channels available to feel your hotel (and have others sell it for you) it has clearly become extremely difficult to manage, and at the same time, very frustrating for the end customer, who is often left confused as to where they can find the best price for a hotel room. I think someone had to be first to make this kind of move, and it’s a clearly customer focussed from IHG. Will it work? Will there be true parity across the various IHG brands and channels? Who knows. We’ve heard so many hotel chains get behind such schemes and even commit to the GDS Best Available Rate (BAR) guarantee. But those in the industry know, such guarantees are often worthless. But, it is a starting point to ensure that guests and HBA’s can ‘trust’ the price they are seeing (to some degree) on IHG brands. It makes sense for IHG to commit to it – after all, it’s going to drive bookings direct, the aim of every hotel chain. Certainly one to watch.