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Loyalty schemes not personal, say travellers

Loyalty card

A survey of 6,000 frequent travellers across Europe reveals that the majority would join a hotel loyalty scheme if the hotels included could tailor services to their needs.

The study by Alpha Research and Bournemouth University on behalf of hotel loyalty club Wanup looked at data collected from a large group of 25 to 55 year olds in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain. It revealed that 62 per cent of business travellers participate in a reward scheme, particularly those associated with large hotel chains and online travel agencies.

Those who do not participate in loyalty schemes cite a lack of variety as a reason, with 80 per cent saying they would sign up to a programme if hotels offered a more personalised service. A further 73.6 per cent said points are too difficult to redeem because they expire. When asked which benefits would entice them to join, 79 per cent picked a cash incentive and 53 per cent said they’d be more likely to sign up if they were referred by a friend.

Wanup’s survey also found some interesting cultural differences. UK business travellers were the least likely to describe their ethic as ‘work hard/play hard’ – 28.6 per cent, compared to 44.9 per cent of Germans and 38.6 per cent of Italians. Brits were more likely to be part of a large hotel chain’s loyalty scheme at 69.5 per cent, but were also the most likely to express dissatisfaction with their chosen programme.

The study indicates that new technology developments are shaping the hospitality industry. Up to 63 per cent of respondents said they prefer to organise their trip through and app, while 44.5 per cent expressed a desire to use instant messaging tools such as Chatbot and Whatsapp to communicate with hotels during their stay.

Furthermore, seven out of ten business travellers said they would be willing to share their consumer habits in order to receive tailored services through the use of mobile push notifications. The digital revolution extends to the most-wanted loyalty perks, with 31.2 per cent asking for a free or discounted membership to Amazon Prime and 26 per cent requesting a Netflix subscription.

Interestingly, the survey also revealed that Generation X is given more autonomy over their business travel decisions – 33.5 per cent said they don’t have to follow a company travel policy, while only 28.7 per cent of Millennials said the same. 

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