Marriott has opened the gate with double nights towards elite qualifying status. When you see double qualifying miles on airlines (as the major US carriers have been offering this quarter) or double qualifying nights at hotels, you know that a travel provider’s regular customers aren’t traveling.
Loyalty programs tend to push their elite customer groups to remain at roughly the same size, either in total numbers or percentage of travelers or members.
Marriott has recognized the cliff diving by offering double night credits between May 11 and June 26 (not an especially long period).
The interesting innovation here is that they want to avoid folks striving just to retain their status, and they don’t want the existence of double nights to be a disincentive to stays (customers who requalify more easily not needing to stretch their stays to requalify). So they’re telling members that the nights they earn above what they need to requalify for their current status will count as a head start towards next year’s status.
Of course that just pushes the ball down the road, potentially siphoning off nights next year, but that’s a hypothetical problem to worry about then and they can always offer rollover elite nights then…