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Characteristics of Members of Hotel Frequent-Guest Programs: Implications for the Hospitality Industry

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This study, based on a current sample of 304 hotel guests, examines the demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal characteristics of hotel frequent-guest program members. Based on our findings and our search of the literature, we present the marketing and operational implications for the hospitality industry. We recommend that frequent-guest programs be targeted not only toward male business travelers, but also to women who now make up one third of hotel frequent-guest program members and are a growing segment of the travel market. Because the larger hotel chains have greater geographical coverage, they have the inherent advantage, but smaller chains can be competitive by giving more generous awards that never expire and are instantly redeemable. We also recommend that hotels partner with airlines so that members can earn hotel points by flying, and conversely can opt for airline miles by staying in hotels. Also, because frequent-guest program members tend to make their own travel arrangements, often online without the help of corporate travel planners and travel agents, hotels should promote directly to members. Finally, because business travelers are very averse to the confiscation of their awards by their corporations, like the airlines, hotels should not allow corporations to register as corporate members.
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Keywords: HOTEL FREQUENT-GUEST PROGRAM MEMBERS; LOYALTY PROGRAMS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 May 2008

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  • The aim of Tourism Analysis is to promote a forum for practitioners and academicians in the fields of Leisure, Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality (LRTH). As a interdisciplinary journal, it is an appropriate outlet for articles, research notes, and computer software packages designed to be of interest, concern, and of applied value to its audience of professionals, scholars, and students of LRTH programs the world over.
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