In an effort to increase direct bookings, numerous hotel groups are adjusting their loyalty programs to attract new guests and retain existing guests. According to a recent article from Skift, approximately 97% of U.S. consumers have a credit card that earns them travel loyalty points with a particular travel brand. Tapping into how consumers are using loyalty programs can help you to retain guests who have stayed at your hotel and also appeal to new ones. The following data from Skift highlights what consumers want from loyalty programs and can give brands an idea of what they are looking for.

First, being able to earn and redeem loyalty points in everyday purchases is very important to consumers. Of those surveyed, 79% said that being able to earn and redeem loyalty points in everyday purchases is important and would make them more likely to choose an airline or hotel brand that offers them this option. More specifically:

• 38 percent of consumers want to redeem their loyalty rewards at grocery stores
• 20 percent want to redeem points on travel (flights/hotel rooms)
• 18 percent at gas stations
• 10 percent at restaurants/bars
• 7 percent at clothing stores
• 7 percent at miscellaneous other places

Additionally, 81% of consumers are more likely to book travel with a specific travel loyalty brand if they could earn more points and miles with that brand.

Mobile is also a large component in the way consumers use loyalty programs. Approximately three out of five consumers use their smartphone to display loyalty cards to collect points/miles – emphasizing the importance of your program being mobile-friendly. Also, 71% use smartphones to redeem coupons, 45% to book hotels, 34% to book flights and 25% to book rental cars.

Because of the large percentage of consumers being involved with loyalty programs, making yours favorable can make a big difference in attracting and retaining guests.

IcePortal helps clients manage and distribute visual content to over 11 million unique visitors a month on 1,000s of travel and local websites around the globe in nine languages. To know more about us visit our social profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+; visit ICEPortal, or give us a call at (+1)954-893-6778. We would love to hear from you!
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