A new report from Arrivia reveals that while consumers are keen to earn and redeem travel rewards through loyalty programs, many feel that rewards do not provide enough value
Scottsdale, Arizona, (June 15, 2022) US consumers are ready to travel, ready to redeem, and ready to earn travel rewards, according to a new survey report released this week by ariviaIt is a leading technology platform in the field of travel loyalty and reservation serving companies that deal with customers all over the world. the report, Where travel meets loyalty, reveals that US consumers look for value when it comes to travel and that travel rewards have the potential to deliver that value. The report also shows a significant gap between what customers expect from their rewards and what loyalty providers offer.
Between December 2021 and January 2022, arivia It surveyed 2,150 US consumers and 204 industry decision makers about the role of travel rewards in the resurgence of travel after the pandemic. Nearly 50% of consumers said the ability to earn points on travel is important. In comparison, 42% redeemed points to reduce the cost of their trip and a third expected to use loyalty points to cover the full cost of their trip.
These findings suggest that loyalty programs that enable members to earn and redeem travel rewards can take advantage of the recent increase in travel demand to attract more member spending, stimulate new sign-ups, and better engage with existing members.
Travel rewards are essential but often missing
While travel rewards programs can be effective loyalty drivers, they often fall short of expectations. Both industry decision makers and consumers agree on why this is so. Nearly a quarter of travelers said their rewards did not appear to be of sufficient value, nearly a third were frustrated by the lack of redemption options, and nearly the same amount said it was difficult or complicated to earn and redeem points.
Industry leaders are aware that their loyalty programs are lacking, with 27% admitting that they fail to offer enough diversity when it comes to travel options, and 28% reporting that they struggle to prove the value of their rewards.
Even more worrying for loyalty admins is the number of respondents who say none of their loyalty programs offer travel rewards (54%), compared to 65% of industry leaders who say such redemption options are available. This apparent disconnect means that loyalty service providers must ensure better marketing and communication of their travel rewards.
“Loyalty providers who want to use a travel rewards program to help grow their business should give members what they want. As the survey results indicate, this means offering the right rewards and offers to the right people at the right time,” says Jeff Zotara, arivia Chief Marketing Officer. “Expanding travel options, facilitating travel refunds and providing a seamless booking experience backed by flexible technology are all important factors for increasing the real and perceived value of travel loyalty programmes.”
Technological capability remains a barrier to closing the value gap for many loyalty program providers; 39% of loyalty programs do not allow members to book travel directly through their platform. Another 31% say booking conversion rates would improve if they could offer more exclusive discounts.
Other findings from the survey include:
- 63% of industry participants plan to offer new travel rewards or benefits in 2022, including exclusive travel options, discounts and deeper experiences or activities.
- 30% say attracting new members to their loyalty programs is their biggest challenge
- 26% of travelers turn to their loyalty platform first when planning travel, a sign that deals can influence decisions.
- 59% of millennials say it is very or very important to be able to redeem points or miles when planning a trip.
Focus on travel loyalty programs for financial services brands
Although the survey included respondents from various fields, including hospitality, travel and education, the report reveals that it is financial services companies that earn the most by increasing the value proposition of their travel rewards programs.
More than half of credit card holders belong to a loyalty program that includes travel benefits, and nearly 80% belong to five or more loyalty programs. This means that they are more likely to be aware of different reward structures and more in line with the relative value of rewards, while loyalty providers in this segment must stand out from the crowd to differentiate their programs from traditional types of travel rewards.
“Introducing travel rewards is a good first step; we know it resonates with cardholders and consumers.” “But if credit card companies and financial institutions want to become their customers’ destination for everyday purchases and cash in on more travel spending, they need to take it to the next level by offering exceptional and exclusive discounts along with simplified redemption and flight booking capabilities.”
“This is how brands can not only meet the expectations set by online travel providers, but exceed them and become their customers’ first thought when planning travel.”
The Where travel meets loyalty The survey report can be downloaded here.
For more information on the survey or to speak with Jeff Zotara, Director of Marketing at ariviaPlease contact Sylvia Kindlin at [email protected]
arivia is a travel technology company that provides travel loyalty, reservation, and marketing solutions to consumer-facing businesses that want to deliver exceptional value to their customers, discover new sources of revenue and drive growth through exciting travel rewards and member benefits. The company’s travel privilege platform opens up the world of travel for companies like American Express, USAA and Marriott Vacation Club by offering more value to their customers through exclusive pricing and encouraging discovery through relevant and personalized choices that inspire travel and consumer loyalty. Learn more about how arivia Helping businesses drive growth, stimulate sales, enhance closeness and reward high-value customers, visit www.arrivia.com.