Rising Trend: Loyalty programmes flourish amid demand for travel rewards & experiences

With the travel industry becoming more competitive, airlines, hotels, and other travel companies are upping the ante when it comes to loyalty programs to incentivize and retain customers.

According to the Truth & BrandMapp Loyalty Whitepaper, 73% of economically active South Africans utilize loyalty programs, with South Africans using an average of nine programs across travel, retail, beauty & cosmetics, food & beverage, sports, luxury, and other industries.

This number is increasing every year. In these tough economic times, loyalty programs offer discounts, special promotions, and rewards that can make a significant difference to a customer’s budget.

In a loyalty landscape saturated with options, particularly within the travel industry, it has become crucial to spotlight the top loyalty programs that not only enhance the travel experience but also cater to diverse lifestyle needs.

Here are three essential choices for South African consumers wanting to transform their travel and hospitality experiences, and where leading travel brands are doing their all to foster loyalty.

1. Marriott Bonvoy

   Here, members earn points for every stay at participating Marriott properties, as well as when paying with a Marriott Bonvoy credit card. With several elite tiers, members can also benefit from perks such as room upgrades, late checkouts, and bonus points.

Accumulated points can be redeemed for free nights at participating Marriott hotels and resorts, and through partnerships with other travel stakeholders, members can also claim rewards such as airline miles, reduced rates on rental cars, experiences, and merchandise.

 Marriott's 1-Point Drops program also takes this membership to the next level by giving members the opportunity to snag once-in-a-lifetime VIP access to concerts, culinary experiences, and sporting events. Members who don’t purchase tickets in time can also bid on auction packages for these incredible experiences.

2. Sun MVG Loyalty Program

   Sun International’s rewards program enables guests to feel their most valued, with four membership tiers where members earn points and progress by playing and staying at participating Sun International casinos, hotels, and resorts.

Sun GHA is Sun International’s leisure loyalty program, affiliated with the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) DISCOVERY program. It allows members to benefit from rewards that extend to 35 independent hotel brands across more than 85 countries.

3. Radisson Rewards

   The Radisson Rewards program unlocks a world of exclusive benefits across a wide range of hotels and destinations, with tier allocation based on qualifying stays or nights within a calendar year and the unlocking of additional benefits as members progress to higher tiers.

As with these other top travel loyalty programs, members can benefit from complimentary room upgrades, early check-ins and late check-outs, welcome amenities, and the earning of bonus points, as well as the flexibility to choose the reward that best suits the needs and preferences of members.

Benefits are available from the first day members sign up, with this program available for stays at over 600 Radisson Hotels across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, or Asia Pacific.

Participating Radisson Rewards partners also allow points to be redeemed at selected premium shopping outlets, car rental agencies, and tours and activities when traveling.

From exclusive rewards and once-in-a-lifetime experiences to unparalleled benefits and making your travel budget stretch that much further, these loyalty programs are a must for South Africans who want to travel and experience more.

Supplied by: Ogilvy.

Guzzle Media