Travel rewards programs are becoming increasingly popular and increasingly relevant for a lot of regular travelers. A recent study by Colloquy found that loyalty programs in general are gaining popularity. And travel rewards programs are certainly a big part of that. So how many travelers actually participate in those rewards programs? And how often do those rewards factor into their travel decisions? We asked 1,000 respondents about their travel habits and their thoughts on travel rewards programs.
In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 11% of respondents said that they last traveled within the past week. 15% have traveled within the month. Another 15% said they’ve done so within the last three months. 15% have traveled within the year. 26% said they haven’t traveled in over a year. And 18% aren’t travelers at all.
Personal vehicles seem to be the most popular form of transportation for travelers; 78% said they regularly use that method of transport. And 32% regularly travel via commercial airlines. When it comes to accommodations, 54% usually stay in hotel chains. 43% stay with friends and family. 21% stay in motels. And 14% stay in independent hotels.
In general, 22% of travelers said that they are enrolled in multiple different travel rewards programs for things like hotel chains or airlines. And 18% are enrolled in one such program. Of those who have traveled within the past month, 35% said they are enrolled in multiple different rewards programs. And 27% are enrolled in one. The most popular travel rewards programs mentioned by respondents include Hilton, Southwest, Delta, Marriott, United, American and Best Western.
Overall, 56% of those who are enrolled in travel rewards programs said that they are at least somewhat satisfied with their travel rewards. And those programs can also make a pretty big difference in those consumers’ travel decisions. 21% of those enrolled in travel rewards programs said that they always take those into account when booking travel. 31% consider their travel rewards programs most of the time. 23% do so about half the time. 20% said they rarely ever consider them. And just 5% never do.
Different travel rewards programs don’t just align with different brands. They can also offer different types of rewards, like points systems for hotels, airline miles, or even the ability to earn points by making other types of purchases. 43% of travelers said that the ability to earn hotel or accommodation stays through rewards programs is likely to get them to sign up. 41% like the idea of programs that let you earn points you can use for a variety of different things. 34% are likely to enroll if you can earn points just by signing up. 30% like the idea of getting a free gift for signing up. 29% appreciate the ability to earn airline miles. And 26% said that there aren’t any types of rewards that are likely to get them to sign up for a travel rewards program.
Of those who aren’t currently enrolled in any travel rewards programs, 42% said there aren’t any rewards that are likely to get them to sign up. But those respondents were also more likely to travel by personal vehicle and to stay with family and friends when they travel. So many of them likely don’t patronize travel businesses that offer rewards programs regularly.
Currently, it seems that almost half of travelers are enrolled in travel rewards programs. Of those who aren’t, some simply aren’t interested in those programs because of how they travel. But more than half said that they could be convinced depending on the types of rewards offered. The ability to earn points toward accommodations and flexible rewards programs seem to appeal to many travelers, including those who aren’t currently enrolled in any rewards programs. But for travel brands, targeting those who are already involved in similar programs could be a beneficial route, especially since many rewards consumers are enrolled in more than one program already.
You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.
What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.
Results were collected on July 18 via AYTM’s online survey panel.