Earlier this year, the British firm rolled out a new scheme offering exclusive rates for members of its IHG Rewards Club loyalty program. Having debuted in Europe and the Americas, the Your Rate plan is now available in 4,500 properties across all the company’s regions, apart from Greater China. During an earnings call with analysts, following the release of IHG’s half-year results, Chief Executive Officer Richard Solomons talked about the initial success the scheme had had in driving direct bookings versus those on online travel agencies (OTAs). “We continue to utilize the OTA channel where it can create incremental, profitable business for our hotels. It is a relatively expensive channel but it can be an efficient way for us to access price sensitive, brand agnostic leisure guests. However, the cheapest most effective route to market is generally via our direct channels and Your Rate provides us with the opportunity to strengthen or create that direct relationship with guests,” Solomons said. Get the full story at Skift