While many airlines and hotels have jumped on the blog bandwagon, Marriott Rewards is one of the first to introduce an online community site and we are curious to see how members will respond. Marriott Rewards recently sent invitations to a handful of members to log on to MarriottRewardsInsiders.com and add content while it is in beta version. Our contact at Marriott Rewards said that in less than a week, the site had over 20,000 visitors, 4,000 new user profiles and over 1,000 posts. The site will be opened to all members in the near future.
Hyatt has also developed an online travel community for members available from March 31, although it won’t offer social networking features. The site will be a place where Hyatt Gold Passport members can post travel tips and exchange information. Registered members will be able to leave comments to travel posts, but will not be able to directly contact other members. A unique feature will be the presence of Hyatt concierge travel experts who will post travel tips about where to go and what to do in the cities they live and work in. While anyone can access the site, only Hyatt Gold Passport members can create online profiles and post information and comments.
We applaud Marriott Rewards and Hyatt Gold Passport on their efforts to create online communities for members to share information and experiences.