Travel has some of the longest-standing, largest and most historically successful loyalty programs of any industry. So much so, in fact, that travel’s points-based rewards have been the gold standard other sectors have looked to emulate as they built out their own customer loyalty strategies.
Consider that leisure represented a huge 80% of global travel spend in 2021. And recent research from Accenture shows that, even with rising travel costs, over half of consumers plan to maintain or increase their spend on leisure travel in the next year.
This has implications for loyalty. Historically, business was the only segment that traveled enough to qualify for high-status loyalty rewards, and the high-volume business “road warrior” was the bedrock of points-based programs. The likelihood is that fewer travelers will be able to rack up loyalty points for perks in future.
Loyalty strategies are therefore in urgent need of an upgrade. The good news is that there are several ways to increase the “loyalty dividend” - an objective measure of the perceived value of a program to customers relative to the cost to the business of providing it.
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