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 ATLANTA, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Holiday Inn Worldwide will soon make Priority Club the first global frequency program that offers customized regional benefits, awards and communications to travelers around the world.
 Executives told franchisees at its annual worldwide conference here that Priority Club will be introduced in its Europe, the Middle East and Africa Division (EMEA) by early December and to its Asia Pacific Division early next year.
 "We are not just taking an American program and opening up membership to anyone in the world," said Ray Lewis, executive vice president -- worldwide sales and marketing. "We are creating award and benefits packages and communications materials that are customized for our guests by country, or region, so that frequent travelers get the value that they have come to expect from Holiday Inn Worldwide. Our goal is to be the preferred hotel company for business travelers no matter where their business takes them; Priority Club helps us make that happen."
 Currently only residents of the U.S. and Canada are eligible to become Priority Club members and receive Priority Club points when staying at any Holiday Inn hotel around the world. Now residents worldwide will be able to join.
 Throughout the world, Priority Club members will receive a standard set of benefits (see note), including a standard corporate rate on their room, regardless of how many family members are staying in the room; complimentary newspaper; express check-in and check-out; extended check- out; check-cashing privileges; and express reservations.
 In addition, members will receive other benefits (see note), which will vary by country or region. In Holiday Inn hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and in Asia Pacific, Priority Club members will have benefits that reflect consumer preferences in each region; more details will be available later this year. When traveling in the United States and Canada, members will also receive a room upgrade, when available, and complimentary coffee or tea.
 Award packages also will vary by country and region (see note). In the United States and Canada, Priority Club members can redeem points for merchandise, travel awards, or have the option of having mileage automatically deposited into their frequent flyer account with Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, or United Airlines. In other regions, awards will vary from hotel-level awards to weekend travel packages (see note). Members may also choose airline mileage on KLM Royal Dutch Airlines or Air Canada instead of Priority Club points, if desired. An Asian airline will be named later this year.
 In all countries, Priority Club points will be allocated based on one point per U.S. dollar equivalent on qualifying room rates. As the world's largest single hotel brand, Holiday Inn offers its guests more hotels at which to earn benefits and awards than all of its competitors combined.
 Priority Club collateral materials will be customized as well. Membership kits and statements will be available in English, French, Dutch, Italian and German in EMEA. In Asia Pacific, communications will be customized to accommodate national languages of the region.
 "As the world becomes smaller and international travel increases, going global with an eye toward local market needs makes good business sense," said Lewis. "By offering frequent travelers the recognition they deserve and expect, we build our customer loyalty and provide our franchisees with a powerful marketing tool for regional and international promotions."
 Priority Club was introduced in the United States in 1983 and was the first customer frequency program in the hotel industry. Holiday Inn Worldwide, which is owned by Bass PLC of the U.K., operates more than 1,770 hotels and 338,000 guest rooms in over 50 countries around the world. Holiday Inn is the world's largest single hotel brand.
 NOTE: Except where prohibited or restricted by law.
 -0- 10/21/93
 /CONTACT: Gayle MacIntyre of Holiday Inn Worldwide, 404-604-2903, or Kathy Egan of Golin/Harris Communications, 312-836-7361, for Holiday Inn Worldwide/

CO: Holiday Inn Worldwide ST: Georgia IN: LEI SU:

BN -- AT010 -- 5224 10/21/93 12:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1993
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