Innovations of Loyalty Programs in the Hotel Industry

Abstract

Many hotels offer loyalty programs to increase customer revisits and to gain customer loyalty. Hoteliers see the important role of loyalty programs in obtaining the sustainability and staying competitive in the customer-oriented service market. Traditional loyalty programs usually adopt point-system for customers to gain through purchase and to redeem nights/food for rewards. However, as the loyalty programs become competitive among different hotels, it becomes more difficult to maintain customer loyalty and let customers stay with the hotel/brand instead of switching to other hotels/brands. On the other hand, some pioneering hotels or hotel groups launched innovative loyalty programs to engage with the customers, thus enhancing customer loyalty. This case study presents a review of literature on loyalty programs and the role of social media and technology in loyalty programs. Then this case study analyzes and discusses some innovative loyalty programs offered by successful hotels/brands. Finally, discussions of such innovative adoptions and applications are conducted to provide insights for teaching purposes.

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