Hotel brand loyalty dives 20%
Share with others:
In its 2011 travel forecast, TripAdvisor has published several interesting finds, including the nose dive in hotel brand loyalty. According to the survey, 39 percent of travelers say they are faithful to one hotel brand, down from 59 percent a year ago. Travel industry watchers have noted for several years that travel brand loyalty, be it to hotels, airlines or rental car agencies, has dipped. But 20 percentage points in a year?
Brooke Ferencsik, a TripAdvisor spokesman, speculated that the drop came in response to travelers being better informed of their options.
"Travelers have access to a lot more information that allows them to make savvy decisions," Ms. Ferencsik said, noting the power of user-generated reviews and, of course, his own employer.
Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst for Forrester Research Inc., has conducted similar research and found that travel brand loyalty, at 42 percent in 2002, was down to 30 percent in 2009.
Airlines have suffered because, in short, many aren't doing their jobs very well, he said.
"People are saying they're not so loyal to airlines, unless they're very frequent fliers, because airlines haven't done much to deserve their loyalty," he said.
Hotels tend to preserve loyalty because they provide a "more intimate experience."
Rewards programs remain a "huge factor" in preserving loyalty, he said, which makes business travelers stick with a few specific brands. But when competing for travelers, it usually comes down to one simple truth for an airline or hotel, Mr. Harteveldt said: "You're only as good as your last interaction."
First Published December 19, 2010 12:00 am