How it Worked

Outside The Box, Inc., a leader in creating and fulfilling successful incentive-based consumer promotions, worked with InterContinental Hotels to develop "Stay Here Fly There," a promotion designed to reward frequent business travelers for their hard work by enjoying discounted airfare on leisure travel.

First, the incentive program had to be simple for hotel participation. A hotel registration site was built to provide all the necessary information required for the hotels to make an informed decision on participation. Components within the site included a flash presentation, promotional overview, FAQ, testimonials, resource guides, ad slicks, pricing strategy, terms of the program and participating airports.

With hotels signed up, the promotion kicked off. Business travelers planning a trip were enticed through online sites to choose Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express to take advantage of the "Stay Here Fly There" reward. After these travelers completed their qualifying stay, they received their reward as an email approximately one week after the stay. The reward email contained all of the necessary information for the customer to book their discounted air travel. This email delivery system also provided yet another opportunity for InterContinental Hotels to reinforce their relationship with the customer. Additionally, by distributing the rewards electronically there were absolutely no issues of inventory or security for the individual hotel properties to deal with.

Over the last decade, Outside The Box has fulfilled more than 400 separate travel promotions through one of California's largest independently owned travel agencies, Archer Travel Group. Archer Travel maintains a dedicated call center within its headquarters location that is solely devoted to fulfilling promotions for Outside The Box. This is the fifth promotion InterContinental Hotels and Outside The Box have partnered on, so InterContinental Hotels was confident that their high-value customers would receive friendly and professional service.


In the hotel solicitation segment of "Stay Here Fly There," the goal was to engage a minimum of 1,000 hotels, with a goal of 1,500 hotels in the United States and Canada. Because of the strength of the offer, 1,730 hotels enrolled in this promotion.

"Stay Here Fly There" launched in-market on September 5, 2008, with an original end date of December 31, 2008.

At a time when airline travel declined by 10 or more percent and overall economic conditions negatively impacted general hotel bookings, consumers overwhelmingly signed up for Holiday Inn/Holiday Inn Express "Stay Here Fly There" promotion.

By the end of original promotion period (Dec. 31), InterContinental Hotels experienced a 4.7 to 1 return on investment, resulting in more than 60,000 room nights totaling more than $4.5 million in revenue directly attributed to the promotion.

Based on the success of the one-time, online marketing program, InterContinental Hotels extended the promotion through February, 2009.