This week, L2 released an Insight Report on loyalty programs for prestige hotels. One of the findings was that hotel loyalty membership increased by 26% in the U.S. from 2010 to 2012. As of 2012, 224 million U.S. residents belonged to at least one hotel loyalty program. In the previous two-year period, hotel loyalty members had increased by just 9% after a 25% increase between 2006 and 2008.
The recurring high growth rates can be attributed to how easy it has become to accrue and gather points in a loyalty program. Hotel brands have made substantial investments on that front. 70% offer access to a loyalty programs via the mobile site and 64% allow in-app access to rewards points. A few, such as Marriott, have leveraged consumers’ social media activity and offer points in exchange for posts tagged with one of their properties.
There’s good reason for hotels to encourage and invest in loyalty program participation. Loyalty members generate 50% more revenue than regular guests. Prestige Hotels are already in a prime position to do so, as 96% of affluent travelers are members of at least one hotel rewards program.