Skift Take

Experiences are becoming a much bigger part of the travel industry and luxury hotels are adding them to their portfolios. The next stage is connecting them to their loyalty programs.

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.

Travel brands are jumping all over the tours and experiences market, but those at the luxury end aren’t necessarily capitalizing on the trend.

A new report from Gartner L2 shows that only 35 percent of luxury hotel loyalty programs offered other experiences as rewards. That seems pretty measly compared with the 75 percent that offered free-night stay rewards.

Investing in a loyalty program is a considerable expense, especially for independent hotel groups, and the offering is often limited. In the coming years, we should expect this number to rise as high-end hotels put more money into additional products and marketing.

Tying this into a loyalty program is the obvious next step.

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

— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor

9 Looks at Luxury

Luxury Hotel Loyalty Programs Are Missing Out on Experiences: But we have a feeling that things are shifting in that area as more luxury brands see themselves as “experience platforms.”

Equinox Will Launch Luxury Tours in 2019 as New Hotels Open: If it ends up being successful, and we don’t see any red flags why it wouldn’t be, Equinox will have a value proposition not many travel brands can touch: an exclusive place to work out, sleep, and explore the world.

What European Luxury Hotels Can Learn From Their Midscale Cousins: Maybe it’s because Europe has a higher percentage of independent hotels. Maybe it’s because Europe is made up of so many distinct countries with completely different cultures. Regardless, it seems that for some reason, in Europe, hospitality industry innovation tilts toward individuality.

How Travel Agent Trade Group Fought Its Way Back From Near-Extinction: These travel advisors have a certain swagger about them these days. Their U.S. trade association, the newly named American Society of Travel Advisors, is now back among the living, and has the challenge of keeping things moving in the right direction.

Hilton, Hyatt, and Blackstone Eyeing Belmond Hotels: These potential suitors all have their own reasons for wanting to buy Belmond, but a bigger question looms as to why the company is deciding to put itself up for sale now after years of rebuffing the idea and years of underperformance.

How Singapore Air Made Its Ultra-Long-Haul Route to New York Viable Again: Technological advancements make the Singapore-New York route much more cost-effective, but what happens if oil breaks the $100-a-barrel mark?

Luxury Hotels Double Down on the Minibar: Why go mini when you can go maxi? At least, that’s how enterprising luxury hoteliers are thinking of this in-room mainstay.

Hyatt Adds Its Spa Business Exhale to Loyalty Program: This makes a ton of sense for World of Hyatt, but again will scale prove to be a challenge for Hyatt and for Exhale?

New York City Is Home to the Most Expensive Hotel Suite in America: Whenever you start to complain about the price of your hotel room (or Airbnb) in New York City, just think of this place.


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

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Tags: luxury

Photo credit: The Chedi Club Tanah Gajah Dining Experience. Experiences don't feature too heavily in luxury hotels' loyalty programs. The Leading Hotels of the World

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