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Starwood, Virgin America Tie Up to Improve Loyalty Program

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.’s HOT loyalty program, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), has teamed up with Virgin America Inc. VA for the latter’s Elevate program. Effective immediately, SPG members will be able to convert accumulated Starpoints into Elevate points. Members of the Elevate program will also earn two points for each dollar spent on Starwood Hotel.

Virgin America also unveiled a promotional offer, "Work Hard, Hawai'i Hard", where guests win a trip to Hawaii by submitting their membership number. This offer is aimed to increase popularity of the seasonal daily flights from Los Angeles to Honolulu, Oahu, beginning May 5, 2016, and Kahului, Maui, starting from Jun 14.

The winner of the contest will be offered a packaged trip to Hawaii, including a stay at the luxurious Westin Moana Surfrider Hotel or the Sheraton Maui, along with a free flight with Virgin America. The winner will also get 50,000 Elevate points. Besides, all participants will receive 250 Elevate points.

Further, to celebrate the collaboration, the companies have created two tropical SPG Moments. This allows members to bid on packages for two to Maui and Honolulu on the Virgin America introductory flights, which also covers a four-night stay at either the Westin Maui or the Sheraton Waikiki. These tour packaged offer other attractions as well, including a visit to the Maui farms, a private lunch or an hour-long chartered Mai Tai Catamaran trip around the coastline of Oahu and a private dinner on the pool lawn at the Sheraton Waikiki. Virgin America will also offer Gold status for a year to the winning bidder of the Moments auction.

In an extremely competitive hotel industry, Starwood’s deal with Virgin America will help it to grab market share, especially among those availing Virgin America flights. As consumer preferences evolve, hoteliers are looking to reinvent loyalty programs by inking more partnerships and offering better incentives. These strategies build brand loyalty among old customers and help to bring in newer guests.

Starwood currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell). A couple of better-ranked stocks in the same sector are Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. VAC and Red Lion Hotels Corporation RLH. Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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STARWOOD HOTELS (HOT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
RED LION HOTELS (RLH): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
MARRIOT VAC WW (VAC): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
VIRGIN AMERICA (VA): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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