Australian hotels driven by loyalty schemes and benefits

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on February 21, 2003

Customer loyalty programmes and personal benefits are the most important drivers of hotel business, according to a study of loyalty to hotels in Australia, New Zealand and the Asia Pacific region, conducted by Six Continents Hotels.

The study, which surveyed over 1,200 hotel guests and members of the chain's own loyalty programme, Priority Club Rewards, found that loyalty programme benefits have a significant influence on the choice of hotel for 70% of travellers in Australia and New Zealand, and that personal benefits are the key motivation behind hotel loyalty.

Over 80% of the survey's respondents said they are more likely to enrol in hotel loyalty programmes today than they were five years ago because of the specific personal benefits they offer.

Moreover, most travellers (75%) viewed loyalty points earned on business trips as a personal reward which they deserve because they have to spend so much time away from home.

More than 77% of respondents indicated a tendency to stay at the same hotels when travelling on business to ensure a reliable and consistent standard of service.

Most popular treats
The survey also showed that travellers want rewards that enhance their private lives, with the most popular lifestyle benefits being:
·  A personal shopper
·  Points for gifts
·  Free rooms
·  Room upgrades
·  An option to swap points for airline miles
·  The option to share points with family and friends.

"The research we have conducted confirms that reward programmes are generating higher levels of hotel brand loyalty among travellers," explained Julia Wong, director of relationship marketing (Asia Pacific) for Six Continents Hotels. "Our ability to recognise and reward our repeat guests is reliant on the strength of our Priority Club Rewards programme. Loyalty programme memberships generate 20 million room nights globally each year, and 500,000 nights in the Asia Pacific region, which equates to US$1.6 billion in revenue for our hotels."

Some hotel chains might also learn a number of tricks by examining Six Continents' approach to making the hotel experience easier for loyal customers: Loyalty programme members have the benefit of separate priority check-in areas, extended check-out allowances, guaranteed room availability, and room upgrades where available.

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