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World of Hyatt Members Account for About 75% of Website Bookings

During Hyatt Hotels Corp.'s Q1 2019 conference call, President and CEO Mark Hoplamazian discussed the company's World of Hyatt loyalty program. He mentioned how first quarter enrollments increased 40% compared to last year.

"We are very focused on the experience of our most loyal customers, and I'm proud to report that our elite member customer service metrics continue to improve significantly," he added.

Additionally, global room night penetration increased more than 500 basis points over the last year with World of Hyatt members representing 41% of all room bookings in the first quarter.

Hoplamazian attributes part of Hyatt's loyalty program success to its partnerships with small luxury hotels (SLH). More than 96% of the hotels in the SLH partnership program have seen bookings from World of Hyatt members with Italy reporting the most bookings during Q1 2019: 2,000 reservations across 27 hotels in 15 different cities.

"Rome, a market in which we do not have a Hyatt branded presence, has been the most popular," Hoplamazian added.

However, the SLH property with the most bookings is in Sukhothai, Shanghai. Due to the strength of its member base in China, Hyatt will be adding more than 40 additional China-based SLH hotels to its program. This bring the total number of SLH hotels in Chihna to 200.

"This materially enhances the stay opportunities for World of Hyatt members, in markets where Hyatt is not represented or is underrepresented," he added.

The company also believes that its recent partnership with American Airlines will further drive loyalty. Frequent travelers will have more ways to earn miles, points and status when flying American and staying at Hyatt.

"We expect the partnership will further enhance the World of Hyatt program, increasing enrollment and room night penetration as we've seen with the SLH partnerships," Hoplamazian added.

He also discussed how direct bookings are up, with realized stays booked through direct channels up almost 13% in room nights and almost 9% in ADR. This resulted in an increase in revenue of 22% versus the same period last year.

Additionally, booking volumes on its websites are up more than 80% and the percentage of total bookings that came through the website more than doubled. Importantly, World of Hyatt members accounted for about 75% of website bookings and a third of overall bookings.

However, when it came to discussing digital strategies, Hyatt was a little more close lipped. All Hoplamazian would say was that Hyatt is dedicating a "significant amount of effort and investment into significantly enhanced digital resources and tools and engagement." In particular, he called out that they were investing heavily in the World of Hyatt app.

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