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05/04/2022

Majority of Americans Say Loyalty Programs Influence Hotel Booking

SevenRooms report reveals top booking incentives and loyalty program must-haves for hotel guests.
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
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As travel continues to ramp up in 2022, hotels are eager to bring in guests to drive much-needed revenue for their businesses. While many are leveraging loyalty programs and perks to entice guests to book again, the consumer of today has changed, and hotels must adapt to meet their unique needs. With 44% of consumers saying loyalty programs play a part in their hotel choice, hotels must determine which perks and incentives are most effective to compete in today’s travel market. Hospitality guest experience and retention platform SevenRooms has uncovered the key profiles of today’s hotel guests and divulges which incentives drive loyalty in ‘Booking Behaviors: Exploring Hotel Guest Loyalty.

The study, commissioned through independent third-party research firm YouGov, profiles the Personal Patron and the Business Traveler, diving deep into each guest’s attitude and preferences when it comes to booking a hotel and, subsequently, returning in the future.

While the study revealed that over a third (34%) of Americans say recognizing their loyalty status upon check-in increases their chance of rebookingrecognition isn’t enough. Rather, it is how hotels appeal to their varying preferences that will prompt these guests to rebook.

The Personal Patron

The Personal Patron is a new breed of leisure traveler, one dreaming of vacation during lockdowns and eager to resume travel with a vengeance this summer. This guest is more likely to be female and over the age of 35.

When it comes to booking hotels, the Personal Guest is eager to squeeze the most value out of their stay, with their top motivators for rebooking centering around incentives including:

  • Getting additional loyalty points for enjoying on-property restaurants and bars (38%)
  • Earning enhanced credit card rewards (36%)
  • And receiving dining credits for hitting a new loyalty tier (36%)

Yet, surprisingly, this personal traveler is less likely to join hotel loyalty programs. Only 45% of hotel-booking Personal Patrons say they’re loyalty members. However, the majority (57%) of that same group say they don’t travel enough to take advantage of these programs. To secure the loyalty of these guests, hotels should offer targeted dining-only points that can be redeemed or earned at venues in the Personal Patron’s own city, or encourage them to book a staycation or use a local hotel’s amenities, like the spa or pool, for the day to maximize use of their points closer to home.

The Business Traveler

The new Business Traveler may be a junior staffer whose job requires extended stays at various hotel locations throughout the U.S., or a long-distance commuter who is looking for a homebase mid-week. In contrast to the Personal Patron, they are more likely to be male and between the ages of 18-34.

Business Travelers might not have the bandwidth to venture off the hotel property, so, in addition to racking up loyalty points, they are convinced to rebook with a hotel brand through perks that enhance on-property experiences and make their stay more enjoyable, including:

  • Getting additional loyalty points for enjoying on-property restaurants and bars (41%)
  • Being recognized for their loyalty status upon check-in (40%)
  • Receiving a complimentary drink or pre-selecting an in-room F&B amenity upon arrival (35%)

As more active loyalty members, 55% of Business Travelers say the ability to participate in a loyalty program plays a part in where they choose to book. To convert this group into long-term loyal customers, hotels should offer memorable experiences that make their downtime worthwhile, such as a complimentary glass of their favorite wine with a room service order after a busy workday or priority reservations at the lobby restaurant for a power lunch.

“A resurgence of demand is revealing vastly changed consumer loyalty preferences for the hospitality industry,” said Joel Montaniel, Co-Founder and CEO of SevenRooms. “To continue to wow guests, it’s crucial for hotels to understand which incentives are motivating the distinct types of travelers coming through their doors. Our research reveals Personal and Business guests have vastly different preferences for the perks they value most. Operators who offer tailored incentives and unique experiences will boost loyalty for every guest to ensure they walk through their lobby doors time and time again.”

The full report is available at sevenrooms.com.

Research Methodology
SevenRooms commissioned YouGov PLC – a third-party, professional research and consulting organization – to poll the views of 1,215 individuals who agreed to take part. Fieldwork was undertaken online between March 15 – 16, 2022. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).