IHG Hotels & Resorts has announced an interesting partnership with Spain’s Iberostar chain. Approximately 70 Iberostar hotels will join IHG One Rewards as IHG’s 18th brand – Iberostar Beachfront Resorts.
The transaction is rather unique. Iberostar will retain full ownership of its hotels but provide a licence that allows IHG to use the Iberostar Beachfront Resorts brand name for a period of 30-50 years.
The first Iberostar properties are set to join IHG in December 2022. The first resorts to join IHG will be the Iberostar Selection Anthelia (Tenerife, Spain), the Iberostar Grand Paraiso (Riviera Maya, Mexico), the Iberostar Selection Hacienda Dominicus (Bayahibe, Dominican Republic) and the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall (Montego Bay, Jamaica). The other Iberostar hotels will join during 2023 and 2024.
It is worth noting that Iberostar’s city center hotels are NOT joining IHG One Rewards, nor are the resort hotels located in Cuba.
What’s in it for IHG?
IHG adds 70 all-inclusive beach resorts to its portfolio. As with all major hotel chains, it will earn marketing, distribution, technology and other franchising fees.
IHG One Rewards members should be able to earn and redeem points at Iberostar Beachfront Resorts properties. Because these hotels are essentially all-inclusive hotels, it is unclear whether IHG elite benefits (room upgrades, etc.) will be provided.
What’s in it for Iberostar?
Iberostar will now be able to access a customer base of 100 million IHG One Rewards members. Despite the franchise fees it will now be paying, these are undoubtedly lower than the cost of selling rooms through tour operators and Online Travel Agencies…
Its other hotels will also benefit from increased awareness of the Iberostar brand. (even if some confused IHG members show up at a city center Iberostar expecting IHG points and benefits…)
The COVID pandemic has changed the travel business, with leisure travel playing a larger role. The major hotel chains have, therefore, been chasing opportunities in the all-inclusive segment.
Even though all-inclusive hotels often have a bad reputation, it is still useful to have the option to spend your IHG hotels at more beachfront resorts…