Sustainability focus in guest rewards offered by hospitality firms

Sustainability focus in guest rewards offered by hospitality firms

Research by iSeatz also shows impact of loyalty programmes

There has been a boost in sustainable-related rewards offered to customers by hospitality businesses, according to a new report.

iSeatz's fifth annual benchmark analysis of hospitality rewards shows across-the-board increases in point earn and burn opportunities.

The travel loyalty technology provider’s State of Loyalty: Hospitality Rewards Report analysed hotels, casino hotels and vacation club brands as part of its research.

There was a reported uptick in sustainability-related rewards and earning and redemption opportunities with vacation rental partners.

Some 27% of the hotels and hospitality groups in the analysis offered loyalty-integrated sustainability initiatives, compared to 14% in 2023.

Most of the sustainability redemption options focused on allowing members to donate points to sustainability-related organisations or causes, while guests were rewarded with points for eco-friendly activities during their stay, like declining housekeeping to save water.

One-third (33%) of the hotels in the analysis allowed loyalty members to earn points when staying at vacation rental properties.

And 27% allowed members to redeem points earned with the hotel brand for a stay at a vacation rental property or a vacation club under their corporate banner or with a vacation rental partner.

Only 20% of hotels allowed either of these kinds of earn or burn opportunities in iSeatz's 2023 analysis, which said this trend “appears designed to boost cross-brand engagement”.

Wellness rewards were also a growth area, “reflecting hotels' desire to keep members engaged and spending when on property”.

iSeatz said reward portfolios grew across nearly all categories compared to 2023, “likely in response to increased competition and hospitality brands' desire to grow direct bookings and capture a greater share of travellers' wallets”.

“Hospitality loyalty programs are the ideal vehicle for delivering value to guests and members and signalling that hotel brands are in sync with their priorities,” says Andy Hermo, chief operating officer of iSeatz.

“The continued growth among sustainability-related rewards reflects travellers’ increasing awareness of the ecological impact of their travel choices.”

Other findings from the 2024 analysis include:

  • 68% of hotels and hospitality groups provide earning opportunities for dining, up from 55% in 2023.
  • 45% now allow members to redeem points for live events, up from 32% in 2023.
  • 67% of hotel brands allow members to earn and redeem points for wellness activities, up from 47% last year.

Hermo added: “The trend toward creating more options for loyalty program members is broad-based and accelerating.

“We think this is a solid strategy for hospitality brands, and we expect it to continue.”