Harnessing the potential of loyalty programs

The path to direct bookings: harnessing the potential of loyalty programs

Expedia’s new loyalty program, “One Key Cash” has sparked interest among hoteliers worldwide, and for good reason. Designed to compete with hotel and brand-centric loyalty programs, One Key Cash will allow travelers to earn points and rewards across all three Expedia platforms: Expedia.com, hotels.com, and Vrbo. Like most reward programs, the platform will rely on tiered membership levels (Blue, Silver, Gold & Platinum), which means advancing to a higher tier offers additional rewards.

At Cendyn, we see Expedia’s leap into the loyalty game as the perfect opportunity for hoteliers to reassess their own loyalty programs and benefits to effectively compete for direct bookings in the constantly evolving hospitality landscape. Emphasizing your hotel’s loyalty benefits can inspire potential guests to book directly through your website and encourage both repeat visits and additional ancillary spend. Loyalty benefits are generally split into two categories: price benefits and material benefits. Hotels can utilize both to provide a distinctive offering that can help seal the deal with your potential guest and provide a memorable experience that leads to future bookings.

Here is a quick list of key benefits a well-planned loyalty program can bring to your hotel:

  • Guest retention: Loyalty programs are designed to incentivize guests to book repeat visits. By offering exclusive rewards and benefits to your guests, hotels can increase guest retention and encourage more bookings.
  • Increased revenue: Loyal guests are more likely to spend more on room bookings, dining, and other hotel services. That is how loyalty programs can drive additional revenue by encouraging guests to spend more during their stays and take advantage of exclusive offers.
  • Personalized experiences: Loyalty programs allow hotels to gather valuable data about guest preferences and behaviors. This information can be used to personalize the guest experience, offering tailored recommendations, room preferences, and special amenities that enhance guest satisfaction.
  • Exclusive rewards, special offers, and discounts: By offering your loyalty program members exclusive rewards and privileges, such as room upgrades, late check-out, complimentary breakfast, access to executive lounges, and free Wi-Fi, guests will feel valued and appreciated, leading to enhanced loyalty and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
  • Recognition and status: Loyalty programs often have tiered levels or membership statuses based on guest activity and spending. Higher-tier members enjoy additional benefits, such as priority check-in, dedicated customer service, and access to exclusive events or experiences. This recognition and sense of status for the guests can foster a deeper connection with the hotel brand.

Overall, loyalty programs provide hotels with a powerful tool to build and maintain strong customer relationships, drive revenue, and create a positive guest experience, while guests benefit from enhanced rewards, personalized services, and exclusive perks.

At Cendyn, we are always ready to help our customers increase direct bookings and enhance their loyalty programs. If you are interested in learning more about Cendyn’s loyalty program, digital marketing, or website services please contact us.


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