Expedia Introduces Loyalty Program for Small Businesses
Photo courtesy of Expedia.com
Expedia.com launched a loyalty program called Expedia+ business on Thursday, designed to help small businesses in the United States save money and reward business travelers.
Expedia+ business provides a dedicated website for small businesses, through which they can view employee itineraries, examine spending and manage company rewards. On the flip side, employees are automatically enrolled in the +silver tier of the Expedia+ business rewards program.
By enrolling in the free service, companies earn a $100 hotel coupon for every 10 hotel nights booked, including bookings made through the Expedia app and regardless of who makes the booking in the company. The hotel coupon can be used immediately, used later or presented to an employee as a reward for personal travel.
The +silver tier of the Expedia+ business program includes access to perks such as priority customer service and free hotel amenities at more than 900 +VIP Access hotels.
"The total U.S. online travel market is a $145 billion business and unmanaged business travel makes up roughly 25 percent of that, which is a $36 billion opportunity," said David Doctorow, chief marketing & strategy officer and SVP, global marketing, Expedia. "Small businesses are looking for clarity when it comes to travel, and this program provides it. Expedia+ business offers tools that are typically reserved for much larger businesses, at no cost. This is especially important as businesses are looking for smarter ways to position themselves competitively and manage their bottom line."
The introduction of Expedia+ business comes after Expedia’s recently commissioned study of American small business travelers, the 2015 Small Business Behavior Index. In the study, strategic insights consulting firm Northstar surveyed more than 1,000 adult Americans to get a handle on their traveling preferences and behaviors.
The study found that 78 percent of small business travelers believe loyalty programs are important to them when booking a flight for business travel, while 77 percent believe loyalty programs are significant when booking a hotel. On top of that, 54 percent believe loyalty programs are important when booking a car rental.
Business-minded hoteliers will be happy to know that 91 percent of travelers surveyed said they spend more on meals, hotel rooms and room service while traveling for business than when they travel personally.
And if your hotel is in a prime location, you’re even better off. Hotel location is the most important feature when booking accommodations for business travelers (price is most important for the same travelers when they’re on vacation).
Also, younger business travelers such as millennials are more invested in loyalty programs for flights, hotels and car rentals than other generations. Millennials (aged 18 to 34) are also more likely to spend more on room service, transportation, alcohol, entertainment, first-class airline seats and advance seat selection to their older counterparts. On top of that, they tend to be more likely than older Americans to tack on a little vacation time to their business trip (76 percent of millennials, compared to 43 percent of older travelers).
The study also found that small business travelers spend an average of $987 on a round trip flight, $288 per night on a hotel and $214 on a car rental. Business travelers in the IT/technology sector spend even more ($1,345 on a round trip flight, $382 per night on a hotel and $260 on a car rental).
To register your company for the Expedia+ business loyalty program, go to www.expedia.com/business.
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