Last updated: 11:45 AM ET, Mon October 19 2015

How Millenials Are Changing Hotel Loyalty Programs

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | October 19, 2015

How Millenials Are Changing Hotel Loyalty Programs

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

More so than any other generation, millennials are searching for fun when seeking out a hotel loyalty program.

A recent COLLOQUY-sponsored survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers revealed that more than one-third (34 percent) of millennials (ages 18-34) consider "fun" to be the word that best describes their participation in a customer reward program.

Meanwhile, only 26 percent of the general population singled out fun as the top descriptor. 

The study also found that millennial guests tend to value member-only events, sales, products and services more than older generations.

One-quarter of millennials said they joined a loyalty program within the past year specifically because it offered member-only event access. By comparison, only 16 percent of the general population said the same. 

What's more, 40 percent of millennials indicated that they joined a program for the primary reason of acquiring access to members-only sales, products and services, compared to roughly one-third (33 percent) of the general population.

Millennials are also more interested in smart phone apps, social elements and mobile payment options, the study found. 

The lack of a smart phone app was reason enough for nearly two in 10 millennials (18 percent) to abandon their loyalty program, compared to 13 percent of the general population. Those figures represent a notable 33 percent difference. 

However, irrelevant communications are more likely to push away millennials than other generations, with nearly half (49 percent) indicating that they dropped a program after receiving them. 

"Millennials aren't simply you in a time warp. Yes, you were once their age, but that doesn't mean you understand their needs," COLLOQUY Research Director Jeff Berry said in a statement. "Millennials have dramatically different ideas about consumerism and loyalty than other demographics."

Given the findings, Berry encourages loyalty program marketers to "gamify everything" in an attempt to appeal to millennials' pursuit of new experiences. 

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