Gowalla users: When you step inside a Holiday Inn,  Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo or other hotels that belong to IHG and “check in” on Gowalla, you’ll receive a note about how you can benefit from InterContinental Hotels Group’s “Hit it Big” loyalty promotion - IHG’s biggest of the year.

For the rest of us: IHG today will become the first major hotel operator to launch a full campaign across all brands using Gowalla, the increasingly popular location-based social network that lets people tell others where they are via their GPS-enabled smart phone.

Using Gowalla is such a new experiment for IHG that IHG exec Del Ross told me yesterday that he doesn’t even have an estimate of how many loyal guests are using Gowalla. Still, given Austin-based Gowalla’s growing popularity and IHG’s need to get its message out to mobile users, he thinks it’s worth a try.

“This is pretty cool, and we’re not sure what it’s going to produce, but the best way to find out is…

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