Background Shape's Genius Partner Program: Everything You Need to Know

Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Co-Founder & Head of Product
The Genius Partner Program is a highly lucrative way to generate more sales for your business. This article will provide you tips on how to make the most out of the program and boost your revenue.'s Genius Partner Program: Everything You Need to Know

The Genius Partner Program is one of the most lucrative ways to generate higher and continuous sales on While other partner programs are designed to attract new guests, the Genius program gives select hotels and properties a chance to connect with frequent travelers, thus opening the opportunity of gaining loyal customers. This blog will discuss how to make the most of Genius program.

What is the Genius Program? is one of the leading online booking platform among travelers, hotels, and online travel agencies. It was hailed as the most visited travel and tourism website in the world, with 511 million unique visits in the last quarter of 2022. Aside from its numerous advertisement efforts, the website doesn’t fall short of creating marketing campaigns to increase customer retention for its partners.

Sample of a Genius partner versus a regular listing.

One of’s most popular marketing campaigns is the Genius Partner Program, which is as alluring to guests as it is for partners. The program connects businesses to avid travelers who have reached a certain number of required stays. These “Genius” users are granted exclusive discounts and other travel rewards in exchange for their loyalty and support to Thus, it works like a hotel loyalty program to encourage more people to book Genius partners.

The discounts granted by the partners range from 10-20% of the regular booking rate. While these discounts are based on the Genius level of the users, businesses are also eligible to do special tagging, ranking boosts, and other marketing promos to maintain a competitive edge among other Genius partners.


What are the benefits of the Genius Partner Program?

While the Genius program requires fixed discounts and perks from partners, it’s actually a highly lucrative way to generate more sales. Here are some of the benefits enjoyed by Genius partners:

Increased booking rates.

Genius users would always prefer Genius hotels compared to other hotel chains. Aside from the perks they’ll get, most users actually book accommodations just to reach their quota and get into the next Genius level. This gives Genius partners a boost in their booking rates.

Better visibility to relevant searches. gives better visibility to businesses that are in their partner programs. After all, their programs follow strict membership guidelines, ensuring they provide nothing less than an exceptional guest experience. So, suppose you’re still starting to fully optimize your listing and collecting more reviews to boost your ranking. In that case, the Genius program may significantly increase your visibility in relevant searches.

To learn more about optimizing your profile, read our complete article, Optimizing Your Profile for Maximum Visibility.

Decreased cancellation rates.

Guest cancellation is’s biggest problem. According to recent surveys, cancellations on are 104% higher compared to direct channels and 31% higher compared to Expedia websites. While this is genuinely scathing to the website, it poses even more significant risks to partners.

Considering these figures, hotels must explore various solutions to mitigate revenue loss because of cancellations, such as the Genius program. Since users are granted the Genius membership based on their previous bookings and customer behavior, they are the least likely to cancel bookings.

Sample of a reservation page for a Genius listing.

Achieve customer loyalty.

Genius users are avid travelers. So, they’re the ones who are most likely to book properties in the future. Once you provide them with an excellent guest experience, they will definitely book your property again. For businesses, this isn’t just an opportunity to generate sales but also a great chance to upsell your services.

Opportunity to collect reviews.

Collecting guest reviews is one of the most crucial strategies to increase your visibility and conversion rates on Unfortunately, some guests don’t have the time and willingness to do this.

Genius users are considered experts on the website due to their booking history. For this reason, most of them are more than willing to post reviews about their accommodations, especially if they were granted the perks and privileges.

How does the Genius Partner Program work? applies the Genius rates to their partners’ least expensive or most popular listings. If they are the same, the discount will only apply to one of them. Furthermore, they set the required discounts in reference to the Genius Rewards Program of the users.

Here’s a quick guide to’s Genius Loyalty Program:

Booking Genius Level 1

This entry-level membership is granted to users immediately after signing up. Users get 10% discounts on their accommodations after taxes and charges. Once completed, the user will get a lifetime membership without any further requirement to maintain Genius Level 1.

Booking Genius Level 2

Granted to users who have completed five stays within two years. It comes with a 15% discount, complimentary breakfast, and free room upgrades on Genius partners.

Booking Genius Level 3

Users must complete 15 stays within two years. Users are awarded a 20% discount, priority assistance, complimentary breakfast, and free room upgrade on select accommodations.

The free room upgrades are subject to the approval of the partners. However, it’s worth noting that most users expect these Genius benefits as they are stipulated on the website. Aside from this, the discount can also be stacked with other discounts, including the Early Booker Deal, Last Minute Deal, Basic Deal, Secret Deal, and Free Nights Deal.

How do you qualify for Genius on

As mentioned a while ago, the Genius Partner Program is free. No subscription fees, application payments, or commission rate increases. However, ensures that they provide nothing less than the best accommodations for their loyal users, so they observe strict eligibility guidelines for their partners.

Sample of a property Review Score that qualifies for Genius Partner Program.

Here’s how you can get into the Genius Partner Program:

  1. Ensure your listings are open and bookable through the website.
  2. Collect at least three guest reviews.
  3. Maintain an average Review Score of 7.5. ( makes an exception for specific cities. As long as your Review Score is above average within your area, you will be considered for the program.)

If you meet these criteria and wish to enter the Genius Partner Program, proceed to the “Opportunities” tab on your Extranet dashboard and submit your application.

How can you remove your Genius discount?

While the Genius program requires a specific set of discounts, partners can block out related deals for up to 30 days each year. This allows brands to optimize their listings or modify price lists before re-activating Genius promos.

Here’s how to temporarily suspend your Genius discount:

  1. Log in to the Extranet.
  2. Click the Genius Partner Program under the Opportunities tab.
  3. Select Suspend Genius discount and choose dates when you want to block out the Genius promos.
  4. Click Suspend dates to confirm

You can choose 30 consecutive or non-consecutive dates. However, note that Genius users who booked their stay before you blocked out dates can still claim discounts.

How to access your Genius Partner Program membership.

How do I get out of Genius Program on Booking? also allows partners to opt out of the program whenever necessary. All you have to do is send a message through your Extranet inbox requesting the removal of your Genius membership. Remember that it will take six months to rejoin the program.

What is the difference between Genius Partner Program and Booking Preferred Partner Program?

As of this writing, has two major marketing campaigns for its partners, the Genius Partner Program and the Preferred Partner Program.

The Genius Partner Program is designed to boost customer retention of businesses by giving users additional benefits. Since it caters to frequent travelers, companies can connect with people with the highest likelihood of rebooking your property. So, if your business doesn’t have difficulty attracting new customers but finds it challenging to retain them, this program may be the answer. Most importantly, the Genius program is free of charge as long as your business meets the requirements.

According to the website, partners who join the Genius program see an increase of 70% in search result views, 45% in bookings, and 40% in revenue with the cost of the discount accounted for.

Sample of a listing under the Preferred Partner Program.

On the other hand, the Booking Preferred Partner Program is designed to help businesses attract new customers, as it automatically grants greater visibility in search results. Furthermore, if you get into the program, will give a special ‘thumbs-up’ seal of approval on your property page, which increases your competitiveness among users. claims that businesses under the Preferred Partners Program receive up to 65% more page views and a 20% increase in booking rate. Despite this, it’s worth noting that this program isn’t free. In exchange for the increased visibility and the thumbs-up seal, will charge higher commission rates for your listings.

Businesses don’t really have to choose between the two programs, as they can join them simultaneously. Both programs are designed to achieve different business goals, ultimately leading to an increase in revenue. However, due to its additional benefits, the Genius Program is significantly more popular among users.

How to make the most out of the Genius Partner Program?

Numerous businesses claim that the Genius program is, in fact, counterproductive for hotels and properties. The fixed discount rates, the required freebies, and the selection of the least popular listings aren’t that fruitful for some companies. However, just like any marketing campaign, the program’s effectiveness relies on how the Genius partners implement it.

Here are some of the tips to maximize the Genius Partner Program:

Promote your Genius discount to your social media accounts.

Like any promo, it’s highly recommended to promote your Genius discounts to your social media accounts. Aside from making a buzz among your followers, it’s also an excellent opportunity to reach out to other Genius users who are yet to book your property.

Engage with Genius users.

Good marketing campaigns would always have follow-up offers to maintain the interest of their leads. In line with this, it’s best to engage regularly with Genius users. While encrypts the email address of guests, business owners can still send them messages even after they checkout. Update your guests about your existing promos, ongoing change in facilities, or pretty much anything that will entice them to book your property again.

Grant freebies or room upgrades whenever possible.

Always give Genius users the discounts, room upgrades, and travel rewards specified on whenever possible. However, it’s best to have backup plans whenever you can’t accommodate their requests. For instance, during the peak seasons when you can’t grant room upgrades, you can try giving room upgrade vouchers which they can use for their next booking. You can also explore complimentary lunch, additional discounts, and other freebies.

Actively collect guest reviews.

As mentioned a while ago, guest reviews are excellent marketing assets to attract potential guests. For this reason, it’s highly recommended to actively collect guest reviews from Genius users. Send follow-up emails and SMS reminders, add a welcome pack to their rooms, and respectfully ask them upon checkout. To learn more about the best strategies to collect more reviews, read our complete article here.

Sample of a Genius Partner's response to a guest review.

Respond to guest reviews.

Your response is as important as the guest reviews–this is especially true for the travel industry. According to recent surveys, 77% of travelers are likelier to book businesses that respond to reviews.

Replying to guest reviews is an excellent way to build rapport with Genius users. It can also encourage other guests, even non-Genius members, to post reviews that can help your overall score on

Read our complete article here to learn more about responding to reviews.


Amplify your Genius Partnership with MARA

Elevating your presence and engagement on's Genius Partner Program can be effortlessly achieved with MARA, your ultimate AI Review Assistant. Designed to streamline and enhance your Online Reputation Management process, MARA empowers you to maximize the benefits of the Genius Program efficiently and effectively.

Easy-to-manage Review Inbox for and other websites

One of the key features of this tool is the Review Inbox. Your review inbox makes responding to reviews as simple as hitting "Generate reply" and clicking "Send". The Review Inbox connects to multiple review sources, including, Google, and Tripadvisor, giving you a panoramic view of all your reviews. And you can even configure review response automation: Why not allow MARA to automatically respond to simple reviews, like a 5-star review with no text, ensuring you never miss a review from a Genius Partner? Daily notifications about new reviews keep you updated and in control.

MARA AI Review Inbox screenshot listing management made easy with MARA AI.

Insightful Review Analytics for informed decision-making

Unlock valuable insights from guest feedback with MARA's Review Analytics feature. This provides actionable, easy-to-understand insights tailored exclusively to your business. With MARA, you can quickly get the gist of all your reviews without needing to read each one. The analysis is so detailed that you can find out about specific issues like "water in the pool is too cold" or "lack of vegan breakfast option”. These insights help optimize guest experience without requiring you to be a data expert.

MARA AI Review Analytics screenshot
Efficient Guest Partnership management through MARA Review Analytics.

Personalized responses with Brand Voice and Smart Snippets

Personalization in responses is really important, especially when responding to Genius Partners who have already left reviews on numerous listings. The Brand Voice feature allows the AI to adapt to your tone, making sure your responses sound authentic and stand out among other listings. Plus, with Smart Snippets, you can "teach" the AI how to respond to recurring praises or complaints. Your AI then incorporates this information into its responses, but always with different words, providing more personalized, relevant replies.

MARA AI group analytics screenshot
Review Analytics for multiple location.

Faster group Review Analytics for multiple listings

Additionally, our group analytics overview can provide a quick evaluation of the performance of each of your listing. Other than key metrics such as response rates, ratings, and the number of reviews, MARA also offers category scores based on advanced AI analytics. In the screenshot below, you can find an analysis for hotels with category scores for areas like Food & Beverage, Front Office, and Housekeeping. This analysis aids in swiftly identifying potential weaknesses, with a preview of detailed topics appearing when you hover over a category.

Final Thought

In today's increasingly competitive tourism industry, establishing customer loyalty among frequent travelers is paramount for hotel managers and property owners.’s Genius Partner Program provides a valuable avenue to connect with a solid customer base, offering the potential for repeat visits to your property. Moreover, the program's flexibility allows partners to opt out at any time, with no cost involved.

The transformative impact of AI Review Assistants like MARA is evident, with over 2000 customers experiencing its game-changing capabilities. From enhancing overall ratings to increasing response rates and extracting actionable insights from guest feedback, MARA offers a promising solution to streamline and optimize the management of online reviews. Managing online reviews doesn't have to be daunting. With tools like MARA, businesses can streamline processes, personalize responses, and gain valuable insights, all while saving time and resources. Don't hesitate to give MARA a try - it's free for testing, requires no credit card, and can be up and running in less than five minutes.

This article is part of our hero content on Optimization: The Ultimate Guide for Hotel Managers.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the Booking com partner option?

As of this writing, there are currently two partner programs. First is the Genius Partner Program, which allows businesses to connect with frequent travelers. The second one is the Preferred Partner Program which grants listing a Booking-approved badge to attract new guests.

Is Genius membership free?

Yes. The Genius Partner Program is free. However, you need a bookable listing, at least 3 guest reviews, and an average Review Score of 7.5 to qualify.

How many Genius Levels are there in Booking?

There are currently three Genius Levels on, each with a unique set of requirements to qualify.

How do you level up Genius booking?

Users must reach the booking target set for each level to level up on Genius booking. Once completed, users don't need to apply for the next level, as would automatically grant exclusive discounts given to each Genius Level. However, remember that only bookings done on the website will be honored.

What is the level cap for Genius?

The highest level a user can reach on the Genius Loyalty Program is Level 3. Users are awarded a 20% discount, priority assistance, complimentary breakfast, and free room upgrade on select accommodations.

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