Regional vice president and GM Four Seasons Hotels Thailand Rami Sayess. Regional vice president and GM Four Seasons Hotels Thailand Rami Sayess.

Canadian luxury hotel chain Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will launch its first guest loyalty programme in Q3 this year.

Regional vice president and GM Four Seasons Hotels Thailand Rami Sayess told Hotelier Middle East: “One thing that we have been working on for a long time and been hearing feedback from guests on is a loyalty programme.

“We’re one of the companies that has resisted having a programme for many, many years. But today, we realise that like everything else, this is changing in the world and we are going to have to roll out [a loyalty programme].

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“This is something which we don’t have as yet but I think once we have it quarter three of this year it will make a big difference and it will show our guests how much we value their patriotism and support,” he revealed.

Sayess was speaking at the exclusive annual Four Seasons University event held for key media at the recently opened Four Seasons Baku.

Here, president hotel operations Europe, Middle East and Africa, Christopher W. Norton said the group now had 91 hotels open and 60 in the pipeline, including its hotly anticipated hotel in Dubai opening in quarter three 2014.

The launch of the loyalty programme arguably stems from the expansion plans, with Four Seasons VP sales – Europe, Middle East and Africa, Jane Burnell previously telling Hotelier Middle East that a programme had not been relevant when the chain was smaller.

Speaking in May 2012, Burnell said: “We don’t have a loyalty programme out there right now; we’re looking at developing something along those lines. We’re very conscious - from customer feedback - that we don’t have anything like that.

“Although we’re the largest luxury hotel company in the world, we only have 87 hotels. Loyalty programmes work when you can actually use the points if you’ve got enough products — or routes for an airline — you can make that work,” she added.

Burnell said the potential for developing “something meaningful for the client” was growing in line with global expansion of Four Seasons' hotel portfolio.

“We’ve periodically looked at this over the years, some clients have told us getting a few points is not going to motivate them to stay with the Four Seasons, they’ll stay with us because of the experience they get when they use us and work with us,” explained Burnell.

“But it’s something on our ‘to-do list’ and something we’re taking seriously and we’re looking at because it’s out there and people are talking about it,” she added.