Nowadays, people don't travel the way they used to. Many times, people's budgets simply don't support frequent travel, so when these individuals do get a chance to take a trip, they expect better value than ever before. Guests don't just want to collect points to achieve a new status in a membership program: They want the money they spend to result in a discount, experience or other benefit that is relevant to their interests. When businesses in the hospitality industry use these types of loyalty rewards, they are sure to differentiate themselves from competitors and compel truly loyal relationships with their customers.
One excellent strategy for companies in the travel and tourism industry is to consider how they can use their locations to their advantage. This way, not only can these businesses provide travelers with added-value loyalty rewards, but they can bring their own flair to the table instead of simply using turnkey marketing solutions that other establishments in their industry may have.
But what are some ideas these companies may be able to implement?
For businesses in the travel and tourism sector, there are usually a wealth of opportunities to enhance loyalty programs with the help of local vendors and attractions. For instance, hotels can team up with nearby attractions, restaurants and more to create highly appealing discounts to give guests. The New York Times noted that one strong example of this is GHA Discovery, which rewards travelers with experiences instead of physical items. Depending on which hotel customers are staying at, they can skip the line at venues, meet local celebrities and enjoy VIP access to certain attractions. More specifically, the Times cited wine tastings featuring local vineyards and even hot air balloon rides of Egyptian ruins.
However, this doesn't mean that geo-specific loyalty rewards have to be extravagant: Companies can implement these types of tactics at whatever level makes sense for their budgets and their customers' personalities. A hotel in a an area known for its wilderness could give visitors deep discounts at nearby outdoors equipment stores, or a beachside resort could put together a program in which customers could sample dishes at the restaurants along the boardwalk. Not only does this delight guests, but it provides a benefit to local businesses.
Be in season
The travel and tourism industry is often deeply tied to the changing seasons. People tend to take vacations during certain times of the year or close to particular events, so companies should take advantage of this desire whenever possible. Hosting a seasonal promotion is a great way to bring in customers, especially in tourist towns where the competition is likely to be particularly heated. For example, you could set up an engaging offer around a local festival, either giving customers discounts on entry or providing them with rewards for presenting a ticket to the event.
Additionally, a seasonal promotion could include compiling a coupon package with a bit of local flair. Travelers always love to hear about the best shopping and dining opportunities around whatever main attraction they may be enjoying, so giving them deep discounts they can use during their trip is an excellent way to show guests they're appreciated. Thoughtful, valuable loyalty rewards are what truly build long-lasting customer relationships.