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The State of Loyalty in Hospitality 2017

by Margot Bigg + Skift Team

Skift Research Take

For today's hospitality brands, loyalty programs are as much about repeat customers as they are about controlling distribution costs. Often times that means strategy at the property level, rather then at the brand level.

Report Overview

Consumer loyalty plays a critical role in the hospitality industry, not only in terms of client retention but also when it comes to encouraging direct bookings and consequently increasing profits. While loyalty was once garnered through points schemes that allowed hotels to reward their most faithful guests with the promise of free nights or little extras, or through conformity that promised travelers reliable experiences across properties under the same brand, the space is no longer so straightforward. Travelers today have considerably more information at their fingertips than they did during the early days of loyalty programs, and are now more reliant on peer reviews than on brand names alone to gauge the suitability of hotels. Moreover, when it comes to rewards programs, travelers have considerably more options, with a slew of point-earning opportunities through credit cards and online travel agencies (OTAs).

Hotels are thus in a more challenging position than ever before when it comes to driving loyalty, and the need to simplify redemption programs while simultaneously considering dynamic pricing is stronger than ever. Furthermore, as guests come to expect more personalized service and unique experiences, hotels are left with no option but to reimagine their approach to loyalty, looking at ways to leverage data and empower employees to optimize guest experiences.

Skift’s Future of Hotel Loyalty 2017 looks at current trends in hospitality loyalty and rewards programs, examines key strategies employed in the industry for creating and maintaining brand loyalty, and provides suggestions for how hospitality brands can fine tune their rewards programs and loyalty strategies in order to drive direct bookings and maximize guest satisfaction.

What You'll Learn From This Report

  • The current landscape of loyalty programs in hospitality
  • The importance of loyalty for branded and independent properties
  • How loyalty is used to reign in distribution costs
  • OTAs and loyalty program strategies
  • How loyalty programs are moving beyond points

Executives Interviewed

  • David Kong, CEO, Best Western
  • Mark Weinstein, SVP and Global Head of Customer Engagement, loyalty and partnerships, Hilton
  • Kathleen Reidenbach, Chief Commercial Officer, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants
  • Jeff Low, founder and CEO, Stash Hotel Rewards

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