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Latest InterContinental Promotion Is a Yawner

Another promotion from a major hotel chain? Yawn.

The latest is from InterContinental Hotels: double Priority Club Rewards points for the second and subsequent stays at participating InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, and Holiday Inn hotels. For stays at Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites hotels, the bonus kicks in immediately.

The only thing new about this offer is the availability period: September 15 through December 15.

A year ago, this offer would have generated a modest amount of interest and excitement. But after 18 months of constant promotional activity by the hotel industry, there’s a sense that such offers have become the rule rather than the exception.

That’s a dangerous assumption, because it’s simply not true. And acting as if it were true could mean missing out on this and other lucrative bonus opportunities. So my advice to consumers is to remember that these bonuses are temporary, and will be terminated as soon as the economy rebounds.

And since I’m in advice mode, I’ll dole out a little for the hotels: Exercise some creativity and flair when designing loyalty promotions.

We consumers are a fickle lot, easily bored, readily distracted. Endlessly recycling the same promotion—no matter how generous the offer—runs the risk of lulling travelers into complacency, which is obviously the opposite of the intended effect.

Unreasonable or not, we want to receive extra value and be entertained. And we’re always right, right?

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