Rewards galore: Asia’s best SME hotel programs


Where you stay on a business trip is as important as the deals you make. Source: Shutterstock

AT LONG LAST, small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are getting the break they deserve in the conference, events, and business travel sphere.

Where previously most corporate travel deals were targeted towards large enterprises with big travel budgets, travel companies and luxury hotel brands are now launching rewards programs with the SME traveler in mind.

SMEs form the backbone of the world’s most thriving economies but in an increasingly competitive global business environment, travel spend and management can really hurt the small business owner’s bottom line.

If travel is an essential part of the business’ growth, contracting the services of a travel management company (TMC) would make financial sense. But there are many, however, who find the best cost-saving measure is cutting back on travel altogether.

An Egencia study in December 2017 said 85 percent of SME travel buyers identified “increasing cost-savings” as one of their top three priorities for 2018, followed by “increasing traveler productivity” (50 percent) and improving spend visibility (40 percent).

It goes without saying, therefore, that when on the road, SME business travelers are looking for the best value for their spend; deals that offer them access to the best tools and services, and good incentives to encourage their return.

In the form of targeted reward programs, hotels around the world are offering them just that. The customized programs allow the business traveler to branch into growth territory by providing discounted rates for rooms and use of facilities.

This also means that meetings with prospective clients and investors are held in places that will undoubtedly impress.

Here are our picks for Asia’s best SME hotel reward programs, certain to get you excited for your next business trip.

Hyatt Leverage

Hyatt may be new to the SME reward program scene but it’s certainly stamping its mark.

The Hyatt Leverage program provides eligible SMEs exclusive discounts of up to 15 percent off standard rates at any of the participating hotels worldwide.

In addition to this, SMEs will receive an extra five percent off selected Oasis properties.

Oasis is a quirky home rental service run by Hyatt which offer guests longer stays in more locations around the world.

Hyatt Leverage also gives guests access to the administration portal. Companies who are booking on behalf of an employee can use it to track bookings and make changes.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts is known for its opulence and unrivaled luxury which filters into business travel.

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts’ Business Travel Program aims to rewards SMEs with preferential rates at nearly 80 properties worldwide.

The program starts with an online enrollment to ensure the SME is eligible, then everything can be managed through the Shangri-La app.

Upon registration, a unique identification code will be sent to the SME and any associates of the SME can use it to make discounted bookings.

Complimentary amenities will also be offered as part of the program.

Eligibility is simple:

  •   Generate a minimum of 50 room nights per year bookings across all participating hotels.
  •   Does not currently have a corporate rate agreement with any Shangri-La, Kerry, Hotel Jen or Traders hotels.
  •   Is not a travel agent or wholesaler.

Hilton Asia Pacific Local Business Program

Hilton is getting personal with its SME rewards, and we like it.

The luxury hotel brand offers different benefits to travelers depending on which region of Asia Pacific they’re in.

  • Australasia: Corporate members of the Local Business Program can enjoy 12 percent discount on rooms and Hilton Honours members will receive free WiFi.
  • Greater China and Mongolia: It’s cool enough that Hilton has properties in Mongolia, but even cooler that it offers SMEs 18 percent off room rates and breakfast.
  • India and Southeast Asia: Participating Hilton hotels properties in India and Southeast Asia offer 20 percent off room rates and a discounted and delicious breakfast.
  • Japan and Korea: You guessed it, a sweet 15 percent discount on rooms and breakfast, because what’s a divine stay without a delightful breakfast?

Marriott for Small Business

Whether you’re working, meeting or relaxing, Marriot understands the importance of a good stay.

“You’re a small business, but there’s nothing small about what you do. We understand. And, with a range of brands, services, and amenities, we’ve got what you need to make things happen,” Marriott’s website wrote.

From the best rate guarantee, mobile check-in and hotel flexibility to workspaces on demand and efficiently booking small meetings – Marriot has thought of everything.

But don’t take it from us, hear it from the guests.