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Hotel Rewards Programs Are Going Greener, Extending Across Brands

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NEW ORLEANS—iSeatz, a leading provider of travel loyalty technology, has released its 5th annual State of Loyalty: Hospitality Rewards Report. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the diverse and dynamic landscape of hotels, casino hotels, and vacation club brands, each with a unique portfolio of rewards and approaches to how their loyalty program members can earn and redeem points.

What the analyzed hotels all have in common this year, according to the State of Loyalty: 2024 Hospitality Rewards Report, is that they are expanding the opportunities available to their loyalty members. In the aggregate, reward portfolios grew across nearly all categories compared to 2023, likely in response to increased competition and hospitality brands’ desire to grow direct bookings and capture a greater share of travelers’ wallets.

Some reward categories expanded more than others, including wellness, reflecting hotels’ desire to keep members engaged and spending when on property. There was also a notable uptick in sustainability-related rewards and earning and redemption opportunities with vacation rental partners.

Surge in Sustainability-Related Rewards

This year, 27 percent of the hotels and hospitality groups in the analysis offered loyalty-integrated sustainability initiatives, compared to just 14 percent in 2023. Most of the sustainability redemption options focused on allowing members to donate points to sustainability-related organizations or causes, while the relatively fewer earning options rewarded guests with points for eco-friendly activities during their stay, like declining housekeeping to save water.

“Hospitality loyalty programs are the ideal vehicle for delivering value to guests and members and signaling that hotel brands are in sync with their priorities,” says Andy Hermo, Chief Operating Officer of iSeatz. “The continued growth among sustainability-related rewards reflects travelers’ increasing awareness of the ecological impact of their travel choices.”

Vacation Rentals, Hotels Enjoy Cross-brand Loyalty Integration

The report’s other key finding was that many major hotel brands significantly expanded their earning and redemption opportunities across different brands in their portfolios or with strategic partners, specifically their vacation rental divisions or partnerships. One-third (33 percent) of the hotels in the analysis allow loyalty members to earn points when staying at vacation rental properties this year. A similar percentage (27 percent) allow members to redeem points earned with the hotel brand for a stay at a vacation rental property or a vacation club under their corporate banner or with a vacation rental partner. Only 20 percent of hotels allowed either of these kinds of earn or burn opportunities.

This trend appears designed to boost cross-brand engagement while expanding the choice available to loyalty members, both of which can be key advantages in a crowded and competitive hospitality marketplace.

Other significant findings from the 2024 analysis include:

  • Sixty-eight percent of hotels and hospitality groups provide earning opportunities for dining, up from 55 percent in 2023.
  • Forty-five percent now allow members to redeem points for live events, up from 32 percent in 2023.
  • Sixty-seven percent of hotel brands allow members to earn and redeem points for wellness activities, up from 47 percent last year.

“As we found in our recently released 2024 Credit Card Rewards report, the trend toward creating more options for loyalty program members is broad-based and accelerating,” continued Hermo. “We think this is a solid strategy for hospitality brands, and we expect it to continue.”

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