Hotel chain gives away points to location-aware visitors

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The Independent Travel

If you're a few points short of a free night on the Priority Club hotel loyalty program, InterContinental could have the solution.

The firm, which operates InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Indigo hotels, has become the first to offer free loyalty points to people who visit its hotels and virtually 'check-in' using location-based smartphone apps.

Visitors to any one of InterContinental's 4,400 global hotels will be able to earn 50 Priority Club points simply for registering their location using one of the major location-based services, such as Foursquare, Twitter, Gowalla, Yelp, Loopt or Google Latitude.

In smartphone speak,'checking-in' doesn't refer to the act of checking in at a hotel, but uploading your location (using a smartphone's location-finding function) to a social networking site.

InterContinental is the first firm to offer free points for this process at hotels, although certain Hilton and Doubletree hotels have offered discounts to customers using Foursquare.

InterContinental has partnered with travel geolocation site TopGuest to offer the service, which also counts Standard Hotels and The Soho & Tribeca Grand among its other clients who give away points or free drinks for guests who 'check in' at their locations.