by Michael J. Shapiro | September 04, 2014
Starwood Hotels & Resorts will launch SPG Pro, a spinoff of its Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program that is aimed at professionals in the meetings and travel industries. The program, which will debut in October, offers SPG elite status, upgrades and Starpoints for business-to-business bookings at any Starwood property. Additionally, SPG members who books group stays, events or corporate meetings will earn points and status for the business they influence, even if they are not travel professionals. The new program capitalizes on the success of SPG, noted Starwood president and CEO Frits van Paasschen, who pointed out, "With SPG Pro, we're focusing our powerful loyalty lens on B2B to cultivate ever stronger and more personal relationships with our global customers who deliver guests to our hotels." Nearly 70 percent of Starwood's overall room revenue comes from B2B bookings, which include corporate travel, meetings, events, leisure and wholesale travel. The top 1 percent of Starwood's 1,200 global accounts drive 40 percent of the company's B2B revenue, the company added. Starwood is investing $30 million in a campaign to promote the new program; details, as well as an SPG Pro calculator to estimate earning potential, can be found at