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IHG Launches Program to Enhance Corporate Travel



InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has launched a new program geared toward small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) in hopes to enhance the corporate travel experience.

The hotel giant introduced Business Edge on Wednesday, revealing that 1,500 companies have already signed on as members.

The program aims to streamline the negotiation process, reward loyalty and consolidate data, content, and booking into one convenient customer portal. Members benefit from discounted rates at participating hotels across the IHG portfolio.

Business Edge has been in development for the past year and was piloted with 300 companies across 17 countries.

As of launch, members’ corporate administrator can monitor travel data such as hotel spend, room nights, average daily rate, savings and IHG Rewards Club participation over the previous year.

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In the future, managers will be able to access a content center with business tools, articles for continuing education and a forum they can use to connect to fellow SME travel administrators.

“We knew that there was an unmet need for a travel buying program specifically designed for SMEs—a group of customers who can often be underserved by the industry,” said IHG’s senior vice president of global sales, Derek DeCross, in a statement. “We worked together with SMEs to design the program and they told us that a discount program alone is not compelling enough to drive their loyalty and engagement. They didn’t want lengthy negotiations but rather a rich discount they could count on, reliable reporting and insight into the latest information, as well as access to a diverse corporate network of other ‘similar’ organizations.”

IHG is targeting companies with fewer than 250 employees and up to $50 million in revenue that also spend at least $5,000 with the company annually.

Wednesday’s announcement comes one month after IHG expanded its Kimpton brand to Japan and Germany and bolstered its luxury resort portfolio.

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