Less than half of travelers always (7.8%) or often (35.6%) stay at the same hotel brand, details Deloitte [pdf] in survey results released in January. The study, which looks at how travelers book hotel stays and the decision influencers behind those bookings, also finds that just 1 in 5 say that a loyalty program is a very important factor when choosing a hotel for business and/or leisure. Instead, ranking at the top of the list of very important factors is value for money/room rate, at 47% of respondents.
Looking specifically at attitudes towards preferred hotels, the study reveals that 36% of respondents developed a liking for the hotel because of its loyalty program, and only 31% agreed that they would not switch to a competing hotel brand to take advantage of a short-term promotion.
Even once joined in a loyalty program, travelers don’t feel the need to stay with it. More respondents disagreed than agreed (33% vs. 27%) that they would not join another loyalty program because they wanted to focus on accumulating rewards at their preferred brand.
While there are some positive signs (62% would recommend their preferred brand to their friends and relatives), brand loyalty does not seem to be tied to loyalty programs. Indeed, 43% agreed that they would continue to patronize their preferred brand even if it discontinued its loyalty program, with just 16% disagreeing. And even after achieving highest status level with their favorite brand, 24% would switch to a competing loyalty program, versus just 27% who would not.
Overall, 7 in 10 respondents said they had participated in at least one hotel loyalty program in the previous 6 months.
About the Data: The data is based on a web-based survey of 4,000 hotel and airline travelers conducted from October 18-23, 2012. 94% had stayed at a hotel in the previous 12 months.