Radisson to Test 'Look-to-Book' Agents

MINNEAPOLIS -- Radisson said it plans to watch more closely the booking patterns of agents enrolled in its Look to Book incentive program.

Next month, for example, the chain will target agents who have booked its properties outside North America but have never booked a Radisson Edwardian hotel in London. As a test, those agents will receive extra points -- redeemable for travel and merchandise -- for booking Edwardian. One agent might get double point offers, another might get 5,000 flat points for one reservation, and another might get a hurdle promotion, offering bonus points for three reservations in the first quarter.

The patented Look to Book program, which has over 20,000 members in 90 countries, grants points for Radisson hotels and cruises booked in the computerized reservations systems.

"We will get down to recognizing individual travel agents' behavior," Dave Gandrud, Look to Book's program director, said. "We'll know which offer has the most impact and which agents are motivated by bonus points." Extra-point promotions from properties then will go out to agents most likely to book those properties, he said.

Agents also can redeem Look to Book points for Institute of Certified Travel Agents (ICTA) programs and credits.

Westin, which unveiled a similar incentive program last year, has agreed to license Radisson's program. As reported, Radisson charged that Westin had copied its program in a lawsuit filed last January. Westin chairman Juergen Bartels left the top post at Radisson to head Westin in 1995. The suit was settled out of court in November.

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