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A new report from Global Hotel Alliance, “What Travelers Want Most From Loyalty Programs,” explores the sentiments, influences, and preferences of today’s consumers to help hotels develop more effective loyalty strategies and deliver the rewards travelers want.

This sponsored content was created in collaboration with a Skift partner.

The evolution of hotel loyalty has been marked by a shift away from traditional point-based systems toward systems that prioritize simplicity and flexibility.

Today’s travelers appreciate sustainable options, access to unique perks and benefits, seamless interactions and touchpoints throughout their stay, and true recognition through a combination of increased personalization and high-touch customer service.

In addition, as they grapple with fears of a potential recession, soaring prices, and other economic challenges, they seek travel and hospitality experiences that provide greater value, top-tier products and services, and monetary incentives based on their loyalty.

Global Hotel Alliance’s new report, “What Travelers Want Most from Loyalty Programs,” provides a snapshot of the values, motivations, and expectations of today’s travelers and loyalty program members. It also highlights member perceptions around the alliance’s own GHA Discovery program, a multi-brand loyalty program leveraging a shared technology platform.

“This research served as a health check for the sector and for our relaunched program,” said Kristi Gole, executive vice president of strategy at Global Hotel Alliance. “It is imperative to keep a pulse on the customer and to ensure our offering stacks up.”

Depending on where they live, loyalty members value different things. For example, members in Australia and China most value rewards being redeemable outside of their travels; members in the U.S. and the UK most want loyalty programs that are simple to understand; and members in Thailand and the United Arab Emirates most value discounts and value for their money more than exclusivity or soft benefits.

Offering a true global perspective, the report taps into research from 94 markets and includes surveys and in-depth interviews with travel and hospitality loyalty program members.

“The results confirm the GHA Discovery loyalty program is resonating with members, particularly at the top tiers,” Gole said. “It owns a perception of luxury and members appreciate the simplicity of earning and burning the Discovery Dollars (D$) rewards currency versus more confusing traditional points systems. In terms of recent enhancements to the program, Green Collection is the most favored addition, aligning to growing global demand for more sustainable travel options.”

In this report, you’ll also find:

  • An inside look at what customers value most from loyalty programs, with benefit rankings that show how room upgrades, late check-out, and welcome amenities stack up
  • A roadmap for future developments within the hotel loyalty ecosystem
  • A deep dive into perceptions around GHA Discovery’s new and upcoming features, including the D$ rewards currency and Green Collection, a portfolio of hotels with globally recognized environmental certifications
  • Market analysis revealing loyalty preferences and top trends by region
  • Loyalty member interest in ancillary offerings at hotels, from complimentary access to facilities for locals to curated experiences in the destination

Additional insights from a separate survey of GHA Discovery members focused on 2024 Travel Trends — highlighting destinations of interest, travel influences, and channel preferences across key markets — will be shared next month.

This content was created collaboratively by Global Hotel Alliance and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.

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Tags: business travel, hospitality, loyalty, rewards programs, SkiftX Showcase: Hospitality

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