Dr. Samuels Assesses Hotel Rewards Programs

Marketing Department

Dr. Jack Samuels, Professor of Marketing in the Feliciano School of Business, was a featured expert on the value of hotel rewards programs. His interview questions and answers are listed below:

Who benefits more from hotel rewards programs: consumers or hotel chains?
Anything that gives the consumer freebies is worth something. Of course, as with all rewards programs, they built loyalty to certain brands. So, basically they are a win-win proposition in the marketplace.

How do hotel rewards programs impact consumer behavior?
Certainly frequent travelers are more apt to stay with one company over another, however, infrequent travelers seem more bent on price than rewards programs. This is why in part airlines have gone to adding a lot of fees. Those fees encourage travelers a great deal to stay with one product. You can also say this about hotels because you get so many extra things when you are a frequent hotel person especially in the full service/business segment. This does not necessarily hold true for less than full service properties as they tend to give all services to all travelers.

Do you think consumers under- or overvalue the benefits of hotel rewards program membership?
Frequent travelers value the rewards travel programs greatly. Infrequent travelers do not value them much and tend to go with lowest prices.

To what extent do you think mergers, acquisitions and alliances of individual brands impact hotel loyalty?
Mergers are exciting news for a frequent traveler on either side of the merger because you will now have more properties to stay in. They can be frustrating at first as we don't know exactly how the merger will work, but usually in the end the customer as well as the company benefits.

To view the experts panel, please click here

To view 2015 CardHub Study of Hotel Rewards Programs, please click here.