Forging loyalty in the modern travel market
Find out what today’s consumers expect from travel companies and what leads travellers to stay loyal to travel brands.
Today’s travellers are lavished with choice, and brands are working harder than ever to secure their long-term loyalty. Technology offers an exciting pathway to achieve this, facilitating innovative reward solutions and bespoke offerings that speak to niche tastes. Travellers are showing that they now expect brands to offer far more than traditional points programmes, and we are seeing three major trends in behaviour when it comes to loyalty in travel: simplicity affinity, pragmatic travellers and latent loyalists.
In a digital world where consumers expect instant gratification, travellers are opting for brands that offer frictionless booking experiences – in the US, 52% of 18-34-year-old travellers who use online travel agencies to book travel say they do so because it’s convenient.1 Yet despite new demands for seamless online services, travellers are still returning to brands for the age-old reason of quality: In France, quality of accommodation is the top factor for travellers staying loyal to a brand (94%). And social connections are an important factor in choosing these brands: 67% of young travellers2 say that recommendations from family and friends are important to them in choosing a holiday.
Although these trends hold true across all the markets surveyed, there are also some geographical nuances in travel habits. While young travellers3 in Indonesia are more likely to feel loyal to a travel brand that is technologically savvy (44%), this is less of a priority for their German peers (15%). Travellers in India are more likely than their Western European counterparts4 to switch from brands they were loyal to in the past.5 And whereas the majority (57%) of young Brazilian travellers expect to spend more on travel in the next year, just over a quarter (25%) of their French peers expect to do so. No matter their location, however, travellers are most drawn to brands that offer hassle-free purchase journeys, unmatchable quality and thoughtful communications.
What it means for marketers
Win travellers’ loyalty by providing a hassle-free purchase journey.
In today’s tech-driven world, consumers stick with brands that offer convenient purchasing processes. To win loyalty, provide a simple booking experience and make all steps of the travel journey friction-free.
Provide unforgettable quality to give travellers a reason to commit longer-term.
Loyalty rewards are still important for many consumers, but quality of service is travellers’ top criteria for staying loyal to brands. Create an exceptional customer service experience across your offerings to draw travellers back.
Become a go-to brand by having considerate presence in consumers’ networks.
Consumers are likely to book with a brand that is already on their radar. Connect with travellers on social networks and provide personalised recommendations on online platforms to raise brand awareness.