A loyalty program from TripAdvisor could be a strong incentive for unaffiliated travelers to drive business to the online booker. But TripAdvisor will need to offer a unique program to change established user habits.
Travel Loyalty News
The Skift Business of Loyalty covers the world of hotel, airline, and other consumer loyalty programs in the travel industry. Read more coverage of loyalty here.
Think of an online travel booking experience, such as wandering through Priceline.com, Expedia.com, or Booking.com, and the first thing that comes to mind may not be a loyalty program. But in the long campaign against Google Travel, it could be a differentiating tool for online travel agencies.
That’s the thought at TripAdvisor at least, which in its most recent earnings reports hinted that it’s “determining which type of loyalty program makes sense for our community.” The concept, in this case, is that current TripAdvisor members already express deeper engagement with the platform. By adding a loyalty program on top, customers will have further incentives to stay in the TripAdvisor network and away from the claws of Google.
It wouldn’t be the first loyalty program in this space, of course — Expedia Rewards and Orbitz Rewards have been been around for years. Where TripAdvisor could differentiate, however, is in its powerful reviews system and any incentives that it could bake into that process.
Still, with tight margins across the board for online travel agencies, TripAdvisor will have to get mighty creative to differentiate itself and ultimately return unique value to customers.
— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor
Skift Stories and More Expert Insight
Choice Hotels Says Comfort’s Property Renovations Are Paying Off: Choice Hotels is ahead of schedule with its Comfort Inn and Comfort Suites renovations, and it’s entering the final stages of the program, the company disclosed on its second-quarter earnings call.
TripAdvisor Looks to Counter Google by Considering Loyalty Initiatives for First Time: TripAdvisor is contemplating the introduction of a loyalty program, and it’s taking steps to increase engagement from its members as part of a plan to counter the reduced free traffic the company got from Google in the second quarter.
Boeing CEO to Business Travel Execs: Trust Us, 737 Max Is Safe Now: Boeing is going to have to do more than apologize to make travelers comfortable with taking the risk of flying on the 737 Max when it returns to service. Travel buyers and managers, too, are unlikely to ignore the risk with their jobs at stake.
Accor’s Franchise Deal in Singapore Underscores Mounting Challenges for Budget Chain Oyo: Oyo Hotels & Homes has a competitor in Accor Hotels, which has just inked a deal to franchise 15 budget hotels in Singapore that are branded Fragrance Hotel.
Marriott’s Growth in China Helps Buck New Industry Trend: Marriott International is faring better than its industry rivals in the increasingly important Chinese market, thanks to its Alibaba partnership and expanding market portfolio in the country.
Hertz and Avis Double Down on Ridehailing Strategy: Car rental companies Hertz and Avis have been investing in technology and alternative services to weather the advent of ridehailing apps. Although the efforts are still in early stages, they show signs of growing success.
Accor’s Love Hotels Deal in Singapore Raises Eyebrows — and Admiration: Accor’s latest Fragrance deal shines a spotlight on two owners that became tycoons by operating love hotels. It is a swift and smart move by the global chain. We bet Accor competitors are calling another love chain, Hotel 81.
Don’t Expect Marriott’s Homesharing Business to Compete With Airbnb Just Yet: Alibaba does not deserve all of the credit for Marriott’s sustained performance in China over the past year, but the partnership with the e-commerce company shows just how mutually beneficial these kinds of agreements can be.
Marriott Taps Ritz-Carlton Brand as Part of Its All-Inclusive Expansion: Marriott International is jumping into the all-inclusive resort business, once the domain of specialty companies that offered lodging, food, and other services for a single price.
Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. He is also a director of product marketing at TripActions. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.
Free Daily Newsletter
Sign up for the most popular Skift daily download of news, happening, and headlines in the travel world
Photo credit: TripAdvisor is considering the introduction of a loyalty program as a measure to increase engagement from its members. It's part of a larger strategy to counter its reduced visibility via Google, as reported in the company's most recent earnings call. TripAdvisor