Expedia, Red Lion Hotels Corp. become partners

A guestroom at the Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor.
A guestroom at the Hotel RL Baltimore Inner Harbor.

Expedia Inc. has partnered with Red Lion Hotels Corp., enabling users of Expedia.com and Hotels.com to have access to Red Lion's members-only rates otherwise available only through its Hello Rewards program.

Users can also directly sign up for Hello Rewards via the Expedia sites, which Expedia said has resulted in a greater than four times month-over-month increase in sign-ups for Hello Rewards. The program has been available for less than a month.

The Washington state-based Red Lion has 114 properties in the U.S. and Canada in the upscale, midscale and economy categories. Its brands are Hotel RL, Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion Inn & Suites, GuestHouse and Settle Inn.

Travelers who book the Red Lion member rate on either Expedia.com or Hotels.com will get loyalty points through Expedia+ or Hotels.com Rewards, respectively, as well as benefits from Hello Rewards (a free night every seven stays, best rate guarantee, express check-in and late checkout when available, room upgrades when available and more).

"It can be difficult for brands to generate any real, meaningful demand or [return on investment] through loyalty programs without spending substantial amounts of marketing dollars on a long-term basis," Bill Linehan, Red Lion Hotels Corporation CMO, said in a statement. "Our approach is to be extremely respectful of the guest and the channel they chose to make their booking, so we in turn view OTAs like Expedia as partners and make sure we leverage their marketing and innovation investments to drive both customer acquisition and future loyalty."

Red Lion is the first partnership of this type for Expedia. According to a statement from the company, it is "currently in discussions with other hotel chains to offer members-only loyalty rate[s] through its sites."

"Many of our partners, like [Red Lion Hotels Corp.], are looking for ways to differentiate themselves, so by providing them with new and unique offerings that improve their visibility in the Expedia marketplace, while delivering incremental business that benefits their bottom line, we're investing in our long-term partnership," said Melissa Maher, senior vice president of Expedia's global partner group.

JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI