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Travellers not as loyal as hotels think: Study

The traditional concept of earning points was tiring modern travellers, a report has found.

More than 80% of people would choose to revoke their personal information from hotel brands if given the opportunity, according to research from Oracle Hospitality.

The study – conducted earlier this year and surveying 13,000 consumers and 500 businesses in major global markets – was conducted on behalf of Oracle by research consultancy Morar HPI who studied the attitudes of consumers towards loyalty programs.

According to ‘The Great Loyalty Divide: Business and Consumer Perspectives (Hotels)’, the study has uncovered a divide between how businesses and guests perceive a brand’s loyalty program.

The report found businesses had three key misconceptions existed in the loyalty market space – thinking guests were engaged in their loyalty program, that offers made were relevant and that a loyalty program should exist only between the guest and a hotel brand. The study found that more than three in four people were highly selective in which programs they joined and that only 24% of people would sign up to multiple programs in search of discounts and bonuses.

Hoteliers surveyed revealed that in their opinion, more than half of their loyalty members were being sent special offers relevant and interesting to them. In reality, only 22% of customer respondents believed this to be accurate, with a further 39% saying most offers didn’t apply to them.

Despite the findings, younger generations were showing a propensity to sign up to loyalty programs and to actually remain loyal to a brand they feel they connect with. Of those surveyed, over 70% (and in some cases over 80%) of Millennials and Pre-Millennials were members of loyalty programs, whereas the figure was less than 20% among the Baby Boomer generation.

Leisure travellers were poles apart from their business counterparts in terms of desire to remain loyal to hotels in a particular program or group. From the survey, it found only 30% staying primarily for holiday reasons wished to book with a familiar brand, as opposed to 82% for business guests. The general consensus discovered that the earning of “points” was tired and stale, with modern travellers likely to be loyal to a program which instead offered “experiences”.

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