Loyalty programs are the key for many travel companies to engage with members as travel picks back up again. 21c Museum Hotels is joining the bandwagon by launching Penguin Passport, a program only open to the first 250 people to join.
The goal of Penguin Passport is to create a curated group of 21c Museum Hotel fans. These boutique properties are known for their individual design, public-area art galleries and a focus on integrating the local area into their design.
To join, members will have had to stay at two 21c Museum Hotels before becoming a part of the program. Once confirmed as a member, the company will send them a physical passport so they can collect stamps with each stay. The first member to visit all nine hotels will receive one complimentary, two-night stay per month at any 21c Museum hotel.
MORE FOR YOU
All other members to achieve that goal will receive 10,000 Accor Live Limitless points. 21c Museum Hotels is part of Accor’s loyalty program, which also includes brands like Raffles, Fairmont, Mantis, Sofitel and Banyan Tree.
Members can take advantage of special pricing and on-property benefits when using their Penguin Passport and booking through a dedicated portal. 21c co-founder Steve Wilson also has insider tips on each hotel neighborhood exclusively for members. “Surprise and delight” perks are another benefit that members can enjoy at the brand’s nine hotels. With no elite status levels, every member in the program becomes one.
Properties are located in Louisville, Kentucky; Cincinnati, Ohio; Bentonville, Arkansas; Durham, North Carolina; Lexington, Kentucky; Nashville, Tennessee; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Kansas City, Missouri and Chicago, Illinois.
With increasing vaccination numbers and a willingness to travel, creative loyalty promotions are spurring on more business. This is on the heels of other interesting tourism efforts like “resort bubbles” that require a second layer of Covid-19 testing to stay and cities rewarding visitors with prizes for adhering to Coronavirus safety measures.
Why the limited number of participants? The hotel company hopes to create a team of brand ambassadors to boost the reputation of the growing boutique hotel company and create a feeling of engagement. There is also the hope to keep the loyalty program small and exclusive so that members feel like family, say brand leaders.
Penguin Passport membership is valid for one year, and membership resets after one year of joining. Much like elite status in other programs, 21c Museum Hotels views membership (and engagement with its hotels) as an elite status of sorts. The program will open to new members again after one full year of operation.
21c Museum Hotels may make the program open to a larger audience in coming years, but for now, the small group approach is certainly an interesting one that may prove beneficial for those first to join.