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Travel Loyalty Must-Haves: Value, Flexibility and Personalization

How have consumer preferences and expectations evolved in the past few years when it comes to travel and how are brands responding? Are brands and consumers aligned?

These are a few of the questions addressed in our 2024 Travel Loyalty Outlook Report, which analyzed the findings from two surveys conducted in late 2023 — one of American consumers and another of loyalty program managers —on the state of travel reward programs.

Arrivia Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Zotara discussed some of these findings, as well as how arrivia is helping its travel loyalty partners better adapt to consumer demand on a recent episode of The Agile Brand podcast.

Some key highlights:

  • Overall, consumers today are prioritizing flexibility — the ability to change flight or hotel reservation needs to be incorporated into the product offering.
  • Value remains critically important to travel consumers when it comes to reward redemption, though their definition of value has evolved to include anything that enhances the travel experience in addition to the more classic definition around discounts and saving money.
  • You can’t provide value and flexibility without personalization, which is integral to increasing market share and upping customer lifetime value.
  • Harnessing the data points loyalty programs have at their disposal through technology like arrivia can provide a better, more bespoke user experience that reinforces the true value proposition of the deal they are getting through their loyalty program.
  • Based on the report’s findings, consumers don’t really feel like they are getting the expected value from their travel loyalty programs. A big reason for that is a lack of education about the benefits they do have. It’s incumbent on brands to provide that education and develop a one-to-one relationship via sophisticated, personalized marketing.

Jeff’s conversation with podcast host Greg Kihlstrom is a truly insightful must-listen for any brand that uses, or hopes to use, travel rewards to drive customer engagement. Listen to it here.