Skift Take

Luxury hotel brands have lagged behind their cheaper siblings when it comes to loyalty programs. In the past they might not have needed to think about such schemes but with data becoming more and more valuable, companies can no longer afford to ignore them.

Series: New Luxury

Luxury Travel News

The Skift New Luxury column is our weekly column focused on the business of selling luxury travel, the people and companies creating and selling experiences, emerging trends, and the changing consumer habits around the sector.

Luxury hotel brands have long believed they can get away without loyalty schemes.

In a way this makes sense — the kind of customers they want to attract don’t care about earning points — but increasingly they are moving into this territory, what they would call guest recognition programs. Mandarin Oriental is the latest company to get involved with its Fans of M.O., following a similar move from Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

“What’s really exciting to me about the program is the beyond-the-stay benefits and access to special things that we can provide to members. I think we can give them something really different,” said Kendall Dunn, director of guest engagement for the company.

Personalization is more and more important and something guests are starting to expect, but perhaps more valuable for the companies is the ability to capture customer data for use in other areas such as marketing.

A smart hotel is a better hotel, even at the top end of the market.

For feedback or news tips, reach out via email at [email protected] or tweet me @paddywhyte.

— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor

6 Looks at Luxury

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Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte [[email protected]] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.

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Tags: hotels, loyalty, luxury, mandarin oriental

Photo credit: The Mandarin Oriental hotel in Milan, Italy. The company is introducing its own loyalty scheme. Mandarin Oriental

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