Price-conscious travellers may be lured by the reboot of loyalty programmes across the tourism sector. Various travel companies are now repositioning loyalty programmes as value-orientated rather than solely price in post-pandemic travel, which taps into individuals’ desires for budget experiences.  

Quarantine requirements (57%), travel restrictions (55%) and fear of contracting Covid-19 (51%) were the main obstacles facing travel’s recovery, according to respondents in GlobalData’s live poll. The fourth barrier was financial concerns (29%) and GlobalData’s Q1 2021 consumer survey found that 32% of global respondents are still ‘extremely’ concerned about their personal financial situation. This reflects that economic constraints are going to be a key consideration for many when planning future travel.

An effective loyalty programme adds value for the end-user, driving return on investment (ROI) and ultimately increasing revenues for the respective company. Cash conservation has been a key objective for travel and tourism companies in their attempts to survive during the pandemic, but it is also part of travellers’ plans going forward. This is where an effective loyalty program making individuals feel valued may pay dividends in restoring consumer confidence in travel’s recovery.

The benefits are clear

The concept of loyalty programmes is not new, but it is clear companies across the travel sector are now banking on them to keep customers engaged throughout the course of this pandemic. The more value the offering can provide, the higher the incentive to book or stay with a particular brand.

Travel intermediaries such as TripAdvisor and Expedia Group have recently relaunched loyalty programmes to encourage more bookings on both stays and experiences. The lodging industry has also seen the likes of leading companies such as Marriott under its Marriot Bonvoy program partner with Uber Eats and Uber Rides giving more opportunity for free nights through points collected.

The success of these loyalty programs is yet to be seen but each strategy holds the potential to provide extra value for the end-user when using these companies.

Loyalty programme relaunches will be common across 2021

With leading companies across the travel sector now investing in loyalty programs, it suggests that there is a heightened focus on ROI and value for money experiences in post-pandemic travel.

2021 will likely see more partnerships form across the sector in loyalty programs, not only displaying collaboration in travel’s recovery but offering a wider range of services to customers. This will help to drive revenue and recovery, whilst increasing value for end-users.