Pay It Forward

2018 was the year of self-care.

We presented each Room 301 guest with 10,000 IHG Rewards Club Points and gave them a choice -- keep the gift for themselves, or “pay it forward” to someone else. We divided guests into three distinct groups -- months one, two and three. In the first month, we gave them the choice to pay it forward to a friend or family member; in month two the choice was to pay it forward to the next guest to stay in the room (a perfect stranger); and in the final month the choice was to pay it forward to a Kimpton employee. We wanted to see if the choice of recipient would have any effect on whether or not guests chose to keep or gift the points.

Seventy percent of guests chose to keep the points for themselves. Some included notes expressing guilt for keeping the points or personal situations that necessitated they keep them.

Surprisingly, of those who paid it forward, 60% chose to gift the points to a Kimpton employee, with many noting specific employees who left an impression on them during their stay. One guest even originally selected to keep the points for himself, but then crossed it out and wrote that some employee of the hotel must be involved in the local community somehow, and he wished for the points to go to whoever that may be.

It was an even split between those who paid it forward to friends or family members (20%) and those who paid it forward to the next guest (20%). We were somewhat surprised to see that people were more inclined to give to someone they had a light connection to, rather than someone they knew well or someone they didn’t know at all.