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IHG CEO Disscusses Company's Progress on Loyalty, Concerto

During InterContinental Hotels Group's 2019 Q2 earnings conference call, Keith Barr, CEO, discussed a number of tech initiatives that he believes have been instrumental in driving revenue to its hotels. He first mentioned the IHG Rewards Club loyalty program which the company uses to try to offer guests a more personalized and differentiated hotel experience from its competitors. He mentioned how IHG has recently partnered with the U.S. Open and believes that offering guests exclusive U.S. Open experiences will add to the value proposition of the brand and its loyalty program.

"We are enriching the value proposition for our members by introducing variable pricing on Reward Night redemptions and increasing the number of opportunities guests have to pay with points during their stay, like food and beverage and spa sessions," he added.

Barr went on to talk about IHG Concerto, the company's new cloud-based technology platform. IHG recently won a 2019 Hotel Visionary Award from Hospitality Technology magazine for its rollout of Concerto. (Read more about Concerto and the award here.) Barr discussed how through IHG Concerto, the company is developing an updated arrivals platform that is meant to give guests an "improved arrivals experience through features like mobile pre-check-in." Additionally, Concerto will allow owners to us a proprietary price optimization software for group business to help drive better yields.

IHG has also been touting how – through Concerto – guests will be able to make reservations of rooms based on inventory attributes (room with a view, near or far from elevator, high or low floor, etc.). Barr provided an update on the rollout of this reservation system saying that the first phase is now complete, "the development behind attribute inventory and pricing is well underway, and we expect to pilot this by the end of the year."

All in all, Barr feels that the investments the company has made and is continuing to make – whether in technology, engineering or people – are driving an increase in signings.

"It is accelerating the pace at which we move our pipeline from signings to ground break to opening," he noted.

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