RHINEBECK, N.Y. — Online travel agency (OTA) websites may steal a chunk of online bookings from hotel companies, but it turns out many consumers aren’t signing up for loyalty rewards on the popular sites.

According to the “2013 Hotel Scores” study conducted by Rhinebeck, N.Y’s Phoenix Marketing International, 70 per cent of hotel frequent guest program (FGP) users are aware of loyalty programs offered by OTAs but only 29 per cent join. “When we look at who among FGP program members carries a membership in OTA programs, we see that OTA members tend to be most likely from generation ‘Y,’ prefer economy-tier lodging products and spend an average of 25 nights a year in hotels. These individuals appear to be a less-experienced traveller than most members of hotel FGP programs,” said David Pluchino, VP of Phoenix Marketing International.

So, consumer awareness on all levels remains important. “Regardless of how an individual books a hotel room, one of the key issues facing the industry — both OTAs and hotel companies — is educating the consumer in the booking channel options they have and providing an easy-to-use reservation platform,” said Pluchino.

The “2013 Hotel Scores” annual study is conducted in 11 countries, including the U.S.A. and Canada.


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