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Loyalty Schemes in Tourism - International - April 2013

This report provides an update about developments in travel and tourism loyalty schemes, including airline frequent-flyer programmes (FFPs), hotel frequent-guest programmes, as well as loyalty programmes in the rental-car and cruise sectors. Although the earliest loyalty or rewards programmes associated with the sales of goods or services date back to the late 19th century, when S&H Green Stamps was founded in 1896, the earliest specifically travel-related loyalty schemes were founded in the early 1980s, when the first airline frequent-flyer and hotel chain frequent-guest schemes were launched.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Key findings
      • Data Sources

        • Overview

          • Outlook for spending on travel and tourism
            • Figure 1: Travel & tourism expenditure worldwide by type, 2011-16
            • Figure 2: Travel & tourism expenditure in OECD countries by type, 2011-16
        • Loyalty Scheme Membership

            • Two thirds of membership in airline programmes
              • Figure 3: Summary of travel-related loyalty-scheme membership by type, 2008-13*
            • Airlines
              • Only three non-US carriers with 20 million or more
                • Figure 4: Major airline FFPs (members >1 million), 2013
                • Figure 5: Minor airline FFPs (members <1 million), 2013
              • Rail
                • Hotels
                  • Accor & Wyndham lagging
                      • Figure 6: Major hotel frequent-guest schemes (members >500,000), 2013
                    • Case study: Expedia and Nectar points
                      • Spending Nectar points
                      • Airlines and Loyalty Schemes

                          • Americas
                            • Figure 7: Airline FFPs in the Americas – a comparison, 2012
                          • East Asia & Pacific
                              • Figure 8: Airline FFPs in East Asia & Pacific – a comparison, 2012
                            • Europe & Africa
                              • Figure 9: Airline FFPs in Europe and Africa – a comparison, 2012
                            • South Asia & Middle East
                              • Figure 10: Airline FFPs in South Asia & the Middle East – a comparison, 2012
                            • Car rental and hotel rewards in airline FFPs
                              • Car-rental rewards in airline programmes
                                • Figure 11: Car-rental rewards – review of top 30 airlines*, 2013
                                • Figure 12: Car-rental rewards – online value comparison for regular members, rental dates 1-3 February 2013
                              • Hotel rewards in airline programmes
                                • Figure 13: Hotel rewards – review of top 30 airlines*, 2013
                                • Figure 14: Hotel rewards – online value comparison for regular members, travel dates 1-3 February 2013
                              • ‘Mileage runners’ take flights just for the miles
                                • Why do they do it?
                                  • Flights to nowhere
                                    • Profiles of the three major airline schemes
                                      • American to merge with US Airways
                                        • Only 12 overlapping routes
                                          • Impact on FFPs
                                            • AAdvantage
                                              • Delta SkyMiles
                                                • Breakage
                                                  • Sale of mileage credits
                                                    • American Express relationship
                                                      • Advance purchase of restricted SkyMiles
                                                        • United MileagePlus
                                                        • Hotel-Chain Guest Loyalty Schemes

                                                            • Internal compensation schemes
                                                              • Major loyalty programmes’ brand vulnerability assessed
                                                                • Frustrations tested by Brand Vulnerability Index
                                                                  • Loyalty-programme-related frustrations
                                                                    • Hotel property-based frustrations
                                                                      • Study sample profile
                                                                        • Figure 15: Detailed sample* breakdown, 2012
                                                                      • Key conclusions
                                                                        • Figure 16: Brand Vulnerability Index ranking of top hotel groups & loyalty programmes in the US with projected spend losses & gains, 2012
                                                                      • Low vulnerability for Starwood’s SPG and IHG’s Priority Club
                                                                        • Frequent guest points devalued
                                                                          • Recovering demand has emboldened chains
                                                                            • From the frequent traveller’s point of view
                                                                              • Strengths and weaknesses of major frequent-guest schemes
                                                                                • Hyatt Gold Passport
                                                                                  • Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG)
                                                                                    • Mega-chain programmes
                                                                                      • Club Carlson offers value
                                                                                        • Best Western for those on a tighter budget
                                                                                        • Car Rental and Loyalty Schemes

                                                                                            • Main ‘rewards’ are intangible
                                                                                              • Cost savings too…
                                                                                                • Not all programmes are multi-tiered
                                                                                                • Cruising and Loyalty Schemes

                                                                                                    • Limited transferability
                                                                                                      • Carnival revamps loyalty programme
                                                                                                      • What Next?

                                                                                                          • Loyalty programme aggregators
                                                                                                            • Fulfilling a need
                                                                                                              • Advantages and disadvantages for programme managers
                                                                                                                • Aggregation already exists de facto in major loyalty schemes
                                                                                                                  • Aggregators can spur redemptions
                                                                                                                    • Small rewards a flexible solution
                                                                                                                      • A feature of IHG’s priority club

                                                                                                                      Loyalty Schemes in Tourism - International - April 2013

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