PHOENIX, Ariz. — An insight report commissioned by Best Western Hotels & Resorts and executed by U.S. News & World Report’s Marketing and Business Intelligence teams has revealed key indicators for how travellers choose the best possible loyalty program, as well as what drives them to book with one hotel brand versus another.

The report results — gathered from nearly 1,400 respondents — found that for 74 per cent of travellers, a brand’s loyalty program is the significant factor in determining where they stay. Additionally, more than 70 per cent of respondents rated Best Western Rewards (BWR) as their preferred loyalty program.

“The results of this study confirm that loyalty programs remain a meaningful, driving factor in customer consideration of hotel brands,” says Dorothy Dowling, senior vice-president and chief Marketing officer for Best Western Hotels & Resorts. “Just as Best Western has grown and evolved to exceed the expectations of today’s travellers, so, too has BWR.”

Other key findings of the Hotel Loyalty Program Study include:
• Travellers 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.
• The ease of booking direct is critical.
• Nearly 90 per cent of respondents indicated that receiving instant rewards was a key feature and benefit of the BWR program.
• Travellers are simplifying and channeling their loyalty, relying on fewer programs for their booking needs. This trend further amplifies the importance of brand trust and reputation.

“The top hotel loyalty programs make it easy for customers to understand the many dimensions of their loyalty programs, including promotions, unique perks and how easily they can reach the next status level,” said Jada A. Graves, managing editor of BrandFuse at U.S. News & World Report. “The results of this survey demonstrate that travellers continue to want tangible benefits in return for their loyalty.”

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

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