[Skift] Navigating Today’s Evolving Hotel Loyalty Landscape

This story was originally published by Skift. Read on their site here.

Skift Take:

As travel demand remains strong, iSeatz has released its fourth annual “State of Loyalty: 2023 Hospitality Rewards Report” to help hospitality executives understand the competitive landscape of loyalty rewards portfolios and develop engaging rewards strategies.

The first half of 2023 confirmed last year’s market forecasts: Travel demand keeps growing. According to recent surveys and studies, travel bookings and average booking values are still well above pre-pandemic levels, the majority of consumers are planning to travel more, and both leisure and bleisure markets are on the rise. Even corporate travel, which analysts predicted would never recover fully, is almost back to 2019 levels.

What’s more, this unrelenting appetite for travel is happening amidst rising inflation and economic and geopolitical uncertainties. While 2022 was the year of the rebound and revenge travel, in 2023 a deeper shift seems to be taking place.

“Our research shows 55 percent of consumers are looking to travel more this year,” said Kenneth Purcell, founder and CEO at iSeatz. “And they’re willing to spend more, too. It’s a prime opportunity to engage these consumers and capture a greater share of the growing market.”

But how are hospitality brands leveraging their loyalty rewards portfolios to keep up with this ongoing surge? The fourth annual “State of Loyalty: 2023 Hospitality Rewards Report” by iSeatz provides a snapshot of the current point earn and redemption opportunities of hotel loyalty programs in order to help hospitality executives develop winning rewards strategies.

This benchmark report includes a comparison of earn and redemption portfolios of hospitality loyalty programs and a chart showing the evolution of engagement strategies after the pandemic. Based on this data, the report also provides insights on how the industry shift towards giving more control to consumers is driving two diverse trends, and how hospitality brands can leverage them to increase customer lifetime value.

“Loyalty programs have always been a touchpoint for guest engagement, and when leveraged effectively, they help drive topline revenue and profitability,” Purcell said. “An iSeatz report from earlier this year found that being unable to book all the wanted options in one place was consumers’ biggest frustration with their loyalty programs — and 40 percent said a broader selection of rewards would increase their engagement. Hospitality brands must continue to invest in these programs to maintain relevance and drive customer lifetime value.”

In this report, you’ll find:

  • A chart illustrating the trend of each rewards category between 2019 and 2023 and where hospitality brands are focusing their point earn and burn offers
  • A detailed comparison table of the travel and lifestyle rewards offered by hotels and other hospitality companies, such as vacation ownership and hotel/casino brands. The table also highlights any changes since last year’s report
  • How the current trend of unbundling and upselling ancillary products is influencing the offer of points earn and burn opportunities at on-property outlets, such as restaurants and spas
  • The advantages and current limitations of using artificial intelligence (AI) to create a 360-degree profile of the customer that delivers true personalization along every stage of the guest’s journey
  • Insights into how hospitality brands should leverage loyalty programs to drive revenue and increase customer lifetime value in the current market cycle

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You can also learn more about iSeatz by reaching out to marketing@iseatz.com.

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