The IBM Institute for Business Value travel loyalty series of executive reports provide a path along which travel loyalty programs can use new ideas and technology to create highly personalized offerings to a wide range of travelers. The first report, “Discount discontents: How loyalty programs can deepen engagement, improve profits and drive brand allegiance,” concluded that travel providers should balance popular loyalty rewards with specific enhancements to engage travelers. The second report, “Cognitive connections: Enhancing loyalty programs to connect with all travelers, not just million-mile mavens,” asserted that leading-edge cognitive computing tools can be used to increase intimacy with both the most frequent travelers and oft-overlooked occasional travelers. The third report, “Loyalty’s legacy: extending personalized services to all,” examines how, with less of a focus on discounts and more emphasis on travel personalization and customer relationships, travel providers can engender a new era of genuine traveler loyalty.

Study highlights

82 percent of travel loyalty program members say ease of use shapes their perception of programs.

96 percent of travel loyalty program advocates say a program's responsiveness to their needs shapes their perceptions of the program.

75 percent of travel loyalty program advocates - but only 55 percent of program antagonists - say they would switch travel loyalty programs if they found a better deal elsewhere.

Travel loyalty: Loyalty's legacy. Extending personalized services to all.

Building personalized travel loyalty programs. 3 desired future state: Personalized and unique travel delivered consistently to all travel segments. 2 emerging premium model: unique experiences for targeted elite loyalty members. common current state: impersonal and undifferentiated.

86 percent of travelers are stisfied or very satisfied with their favorite hotel loyalty program, and 73 percent are satisfied or very satisfied with their favorite airline program.

67 percent of travelers who take 15-or-more trips a year say that loyalty rewards are an important factor or their main consideration when booking travel, compared to 45 percent of travelers who take one or two trips a year.

To create a legacy of customer loyalty, providers must be prepared to: 1 address disengaged travelers. 2 leverage artificial intelligence. 3 Embrace economic ecosystems. IBM

About the authors

Steve Peterson

Steve Peterson
Travel and Transportation Lead,
IBM Institute for Business Value,
IBM Global Business Services

Raimon Christiani

Raimon Christiani
Global Industry Leader for Travel and Transportation
for IBM Global Business Services.

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