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Special Report, Lodging

Staying Loyal

Hotel rewards have evolved to give travelers and buyers more reasons than ever to pledge allegiance 

“Welcome, guests, to the reinvented hotel loyalty program. Not only do we want you to earn and redeem points, but we want you to book direct directly with us and develop an emotional connection with  our brand.”

Yes, despite cynicism about brand loyalty these days, hotels are investing heavily in these programs but with a reinvented approach that reflects two powerful trends:
• Emotional attachment: Rather than simply offering points for stays and goodies, hotel operators are seeking to establish personal connections with guests.

• Direct bookings: Members are being incentivized to book directly through brand websites and call centers with discounted rates and other benefits; and non-members are being urged to join to enjoy those same benefits.

For travel managers, the growth of loyalty programs could aggravate issues around sticking to the travel program as more travelers seek to maximize points rather than follow policy. On the other hand, hotel brands are sweetening perks to managers and their companies.

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