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Six Continents Hotels announces results of consumer study

Six Continents Hotels announced the results of a consumer study focusing on the state of loyalty in…

Six Continents Hotels announced the results of a consumer study focusing on the state of loyalty in Asia Pacific following the relaunch of Priority Club Rewards. The research, which covers five markets and 1,200 consumers in Asia Pacific, examines consumer loyalty trends and drivers, and was conducted as part of the newly improved Priority Club Rewards program that delivers additional benefits to members for greater ease of use and recognition.

As a new element in the program and to further incentivize brand loyalty, Priority Club members will earn double points or miles for their second stay at any InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express or Staybridge Suites hotel worldwide from January 13 to March 31 next year.

We are very excited about the enhancements made to Priority Club Rewards because we’ve created something special by taking the best elements of different hotel guest loyalty programs and combined them into one program that is simple to use, said Ms Julia Wong, Director, Relationship Marketing Asia-Pacific, Six Continents Hotels. The research we have conducted confirms that loyalty programs are encouraging travelers towards more brand loyalty. It has also highlighted that personal benefits is the single most important driver of loyalty in Asia, and Priority Club Rewards delivers just that. We’ve made it easier for guests to be rewarded, recognized and enjoy an enhanced lifestyle by providing members with the fastest way to achieve Elite status and by offering the largest luxury tier earning and redemption option.

Continued Ms Wong: As we focus on building our hotel brands and strengthening our portfolio of properties in the region, Priority Club Rewards will be extremely important to us because it drives incremental revenue and attracts lifelong customers for the hotels under the Six Continents Hotels umbrella. Loyalty program memberships drive 40% incremental number of nights and revenue, generates 20 million room nights globally on an annual basis and 500,000 nights in Asia Pacific which equates to US$1.6billion in revenue to our hotels. This is why we have commissioned the consumer study to gain greater insight into the specific loyalty trends and preferences in Asia.

More than 1,200 Priority Club Rewards members and guests were surveyed across Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Over 800 participants took the survey online while the rest participated in the on site survey.

Personal lifestyle benefits is key driver of loyalty

According to the research, the majority of business travelers (more than 75 per cent) view loyalty points earned on business trips as a personal reward which they deserve from having to be away from home. And it appears that corporations in Asia realize this perception as most (95%) say their companies allow them to use the points they accrue from loyalty schemes as they wish. Over 80 per cent of respondents said they are more likely to enroll in loyalty programs today, as compared to five years ago, because of specific personal benefits offered.

Six Continents Hotels understands the hotel business best, globally and in Asia Pacific. The improved Priority Club Rewards program demonstrates our commitment to meeting our guests’ personalized needs, which is why our hotel loyalty program makes it easier to guests to be rewarded through seven standard categories for award night redemption and instant online redemption. Travelers today want rewards that enhance their private lives. The personal lifestyle benefits we offer to our members easily extend beyond their work life so they can share their points with family and friends through features such as Personal Shopper, Points for Gifts and Points Transfer to airline miles, said Ms Wong.

All consumers want is simplicity and recognition

When asked about the most important attribute of a loyalty program, respondents easily singled out ease of redeeming points as the most important factor, citing that many hotel loyalty programs offer great rewards but are hard to claim. To ensure greater ease of use for members, Six Continents Hotels has incorporated key features such as ‘no point expiration’, ‘no blackout dates’ and ‘instant online redemption’ into the improved Priority Club Rewards program to ensure that members can access and redeem points anytime they wish.

A key element of the program includes new ways to further recognize and reward Priority Club Rewards members who will now have access to separate priority check in areas and extended check out allowances in addition to guaranteed room availability and room upgrades. Priority Club Rewards is also the only hotel loyalty program that counts points towards Elite status so more guests can enjoy the benefits that comes with it for a more enjoyable stay.

Other Research Highlights Include

  • Travel Trends in the Past Year – The research indicated that the majority of participants (86 per cent) were travelling just as much or more in the past year due to changes in their responsibilities at work, expansion of the business or a change in business focus.
  • State of Loyalty in Asia – According to guests polled, more than 77 per cent indicated a tendency to stay at the same hotel when travelling for businesses as this ensures they receive a consistent standard of quality they can rely on.
  • Expectations of Hotels for Business Travel – Participants ranked cleanliness, comfort and staff courtesy as the three most important attributes.
  • Other Important Hotel Loyalty Attributes – These include free nights, extended check out, room upgrades, guaranteed rooms, and airline mileage.
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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.