Best Western Releases Hotel Loyalty Program Study

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Best Western Releases Hotel Loyalty Program Study

05/16/2018

A report commissioned by Best Western Hotels & Resorts and executed by U.S. News & World Report’s marketing and business intelligence teams reveals key indicators for how travelers choose the best possible loyalty program, as well as what drives them to book with one hotel brand versus another.

The results, gathered from nearly 1,400 respondents, were released during Best Western’s Leisure Travel Summit in New York. The study found that for 74% of travelers, a brand’s loyalty program is the significant factor in determining where they stay. In addition, more than 70% of respondents rated Best Western Rewards (BWR) as their preferred loyalty program in the industry.

“The results of this study confirm that loyalty programs remain a meaningful, driving factor in customer consideration of hotel brands,” said Dorothy Dowling, SVP and CMO for Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “Just as Best Western has grown and evolved to exceed the expectations of today’s travelers, so, too has BWR. Today’s BWR reflects the voice of our valued customers more than ever, providing industry-leading offerings such as points that never expire, low point redemption thresholds to help our guests earn free room nights faster, and access to discounts, instant rewards, and rich promotions throughout the entire year. BWR continues to reimagine the hotel loyalty landscape, and we keep getting better.”

Expiring Points?

Travelers polled as part of the study overwhelmingly agreed that the ability to earn points that never expire is a key benefit of a loyalty program, making a significant impact on their booking decisions. Similarly, when asked about the most negative aspect of a loyalty program, nearly one-third of respondents cited expiring points as their single-most frustrating factor. BWR offers points that never expire. In addition, more than half of respondents indicated that they save their points for dream vacations, further underscoring the importance of points not expiring.

 According to travelers polled in this year’s study, the ease of booking direct is critical, and nearly half of respondents indicated it is easy to book directly with Best Western. Many also noted the company’s exclusive member rate discount as a top benefit.

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Other findings:

  • 98% of respondents indicated that they have used earned points to book hotel stays.
  • 90% of respondents indicated that receiving instant rewards was a key feature and benefit of the BWR program.
  • 41% of study respondents indicated that customer loyalty is bolstered by delivering successful guest experiences with each stay.
  • 20% of respondents pointed to having hotels in locations where they travel as an important factor influencing loyalty.  

The quest for customer insights has always been a focal point for Best Western, and the desire to keep our finger on the pulse of what travelers are looking for is in our DNA,” said Dowling. “Our co-branded study with U.S. News & World Report has provided invaluable information which we will use to further enhance and refine our offerings. Best Western will continue to seek out opportunities to understand and meet the needs of our customers at every point in their journey and to maintain our position as a loyalty leader and innovator.”

This is the second year Best Western Hotels & Resorts has worked with U.S. News & World to obtain actionable insights from travelers about loyalty programs in general as well as specific information related to BWR, including desirable program features, consumer preferences and potential enhancement areas.

A full report, “What Comes With Loyalty,” is available at mediakit.usnews.com/insights.