WTM 2016: Wanup loyalty scheme for independent and boutique hotels launches

WTM 2016: Wanup loyalty scheme for independent and boutique hotels launches

New independent hotel loyalty scheme Wanup aims to have 500 properties signed up within six months as it targets becoming the world’s biggest and most diverse hospitality club.

The firm made its physical debut last week at World Travel Market having launched on September 28 with 300 hotels. It ultimately aims to have 7,000 hotel members globally within two years.

The Wanup concept was devised by the Vallet family of hoteliers from Barcelona who have also established Quantum, a hotel supplies purchasing firm that exploits the sharing economy to allow small hotels to compete.

Wanup is signing up boutique and independent hotels and chains that either do not currently have a loyalty scheme or have one but are unable to offer diversity of destinations and properties.

Hotels can sign up free to join Wanup which charges a variable commission of between 6% and 9% depending on how the hotels are meeting objectives like driving consumers to sign up.

Individual hotel employees are also directly incentivised with cashback offers for their own trips to sign up customers via an app introducing an element of gameification.

Customer members are also incentivised to travel more with a four status levels – Great, Circle, Star, and ‘Top’ – offering a sliding scale of perks and unlocking greater rewards.

Customer members earn loyalty rewards called ‘Wanup Winnings’ that may comprise of at least 6% cashback as well as free breakfasts, complimentary parking or room upgrades.

Wanup insists members can access free Wi-Fi and because the hotel receives the full room rate there are no restricted dates.

Natalie Batlle, Wanup brand director, said the scheme gives hotels the flexibility to personalise their rewards and offer incentives applicable to their style and destination.

“On every booking you make you accumulate instant cashback. If you’re a regular business traveller that can accumulate very quickly and you can choose when to apply it.

“If you travel for business you might put it towards a leisure trip. If you’re a leisure traveller you can choose to use it instantly.

“We want to make sure the traveller receives the reward the instant they book with us.”

Batlle said with CRM technology, customer engagement tools and microsites also available to hoteliers, Wanup is an alternative to similar technologies increasingly offered by OTAs like Expedia and Booking.com.

“Not all OTAs give the customer data back to the hotelier. When the customer is thanked for their booking it’s the OTA. The OTA manages that relationship. This is a loyalty club, not an OTA,” she said.

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