When it comes to choosing where to travel and stay on their journey, many consumers are looking to social influencers for aspirational recommendations. That’s according to the findings of a recent global study by Oracle auditing consumer perceptions and hospitality brand realities of loyalty programs and influences.
According to the report, 43 percent of consumers indicate that they are more likely to trust recommendations by YouTubers rather than branded advertising or communications, and 37 percent agree that hotels used and recommended by social influencers are more trustworthy than those recommended by celebrities.
The study also found that consumers are selective when it comes to signing up for loyalty programs and look for real relevance. In fact, 30 percent rarely join loyalty programs, 46 percent only sign up to select relevant programs, and just 24 percent sign up to every loyalty program. More than half of hotel professionals surveyed believe their offers are mostly relevant while just 22 percent of guests believe those offers are mostly relevant and 39 percent feel those offers are rarely relevant.
Although there is a clear disconnect between hotel brands and guests on the relevancy and efficacy of loyalty programs, properties should remain optimistic with younger demographics noting the highest propensity to join loyalty programs and say their loyalty is growing. About one in three adult travelers under the age of 35 say that they are more loyal to hotel brands than before. And while 40 percent of baby boomers—those over the age of 55—note that they will only sign up to select, relevant loyalty programs, 29 percent of millennials plan to sign up to every loyalty program.
Read original article