Innovation That Matters

With social media check-ins, guests earn hotel & travel rewards

Travel & Tourism

It’s standard practice for hotels and airlines to offer discounts and other rewards to their own best customers, but a new service aims to pass those benefits on to other consumers as well. Specifically, users of location-based social networking services including Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Loopt, Brightkite, Google Buzz and Google Latitude can now coordinate their check-ins through Topguest for a variety of travel and hospitality rewards. Topguest is a free, members-only service that automatically gives users real rewards program points for their location-based check-ins. There’s no need to download or install anything new; rather, users simply sign up for Topguest and sync their check-in app account(s) to the service. Some programs, such as Delta Skymiles, give users points wherever they check in; others, such as Starwood Preferred Guest, will award points only for check-ins at Starwood hotels, Topguest says. Currently Topguest is in “sneak peek” mode, featuring a partnership with Standard Hotels; rewards include a complimentary week’s stay for any road warrior who checks into four Standard hotels in the course of a single week, and a 25 percent discount for those who check into Standard properties 10 times. Over the summer, however, the New York-based company plans to add additional partners in the travel and hospitality industry, according to a CNET report. As the mass-mingling crowds increasingly coordinate online and compete for badges and other local rewards, there’s opportunity aplenty for vendors further afield to get in on the action—not to mention companies like Topguest, which stand to benefit by making it all happen. One to get in on early…? (Related: Helping consumers manage their loyalty perks.) Spotted by: USA Today via



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