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Do members want the bells and whistles? Understanding the effect of direct and partner benefits in hotel loyalty programs

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Hotel loyalty programs are no longer a differentiating force since they tend to be similar across most brands, offering the same standard benefits. Therefore, hotel loyalty marketers are partnering with other brands to differentiate and drive engagement with their program members. This study examines the effect of strategic alliances among hotel loyalty programs through the types of benefits offered. Further, we evaluate differences among the tier statuses of program members in terms of their experience with the program and partner benefits. We perform structural equational modeling (SEM) on an online research panel-based sample of 469 active loyalty program members. Study findings indicate that benefits offered through partnerships can positively influence brand loyalty and the level of perceived value is different based on tier status level. This study contributes to existing literature by providing a conceptual framework for value-added partner benefits as an effective driver for loyalty programs.
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... The scientific literature has analyzed this issue in relation to hospitality, indicating the importance of quality [50][51][52][53][54], customer satisfaction [54][55][56], brand image [52,[55][56][57], price [51,52], and corporate social responsibility [9,58,59]. Hotel loyalty was also analyzed in the context of loyalty programs [46,60,61]; range of services [62]; promotion [54]; brand relationship [63]; relationship marketing [64,65]; and reputation, innovation, and brand extension [54]. The relationship with the brand based on a triangle of three elements is important in building loyalty: process, database management/communication, and value creation [63]. ...
... Factors such as quality [50][51][52][53][54], customer satisfaction [54][55][56], range of services [62], price [51,52], corporate social responsibility [9,58,59], and promotion [54] should be mentioned. Important areas of loyalty research in the hospitality industry are loyalty programs [46,60,61]; brand relationship [63]; relationship marketing [64,65]; and reputation, innovation, and brand extension [54]. ...
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... Lee et al. (2012), point out that many tourists may be unable to revisit a foreign destination even if they are highly satisfied with their experience. Furthermore, to date, behavioural loyalty has referred to only one meaning, while attitudinal loyalty has been equated with many different concepts, such as attachment (Yoo et al. 2018), commitment (Kim et al. 2014) intention to recommend (Han et al. 2017) and involvement (McIntyre 1989). Many researchers have also suggested that attitudinal loyalty has a direct effect on behavioural loyalty (e.g. ...
... The authors have identified the three most common objectives of the research papers (table 5). Psychological value of loyalty programme is important predictor of active loyalty (Xie and Chen 2014); Higher-tier reward members are more emotionally attached than lowertier members; Reward members are less likely to switch compared to non-members (Tanford et al. 2011) Two core attributes of programme effectiveness: emotional commitment and reward programme evaluation (Tanford 2013) Programme benefits do not affect the quality of the relationship between member and hotel brand (Lo and Im 2014) A well designed and implemented loyalty program with integrated social responsibility can create trust as well a strong long term relationship with customers (Nemec Rudež 2010) Switching costs are more effective than programme value in driving active loyalty to a brand (Xie et al. 2015) Benefits of the loyalty programme and partnerships with other brands (non-hotel) positively influence (through member tier and satisfaction) brand loyalty (Yoo et al. 2018) To investigate the role/effect of loyalty programme membership on programme loyalty Economic rewards drive programme loyalty more significantly than social rewards Flexibility of the loyalty programme is a crucial factor between polygamous programme loyalty and loyalty to one programme, e.g. members will stay in only one programme if they perceive flexibility (Xiong et al. 2014) To investigate impact of hotel loyalty programme on hotel operations Loyalty programme expenses are positively connected with RevPar, ADR, Occupancy and GOP (Hua et al. 2018). ...
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... The existing literature extensively supports the positive effect of satisfaction on loyalty (Tanford 2016). For example, Yoo et al. (2018) examined the effects of strategic alliance benefits on loyalty and found that satisfaction positively affects hotel guests' brand loyalty. Jani and Han (2014) tested the theoretical model that relates personality, satisfaction, loyalty, ambience, and image in a hotel setting. ...
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... When evaluating the individual perceived benefit categories, it is evident that some of the categories are not directly related to the products and services provided by financial institutions. Loyalty programmes form strategic partnerships to provide a wider range of perceived benefits (Yoo et al 2018), and the inclusion of these partners increases the adoption of these programmes (Yan and Cui 2015). ...
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... Dowling (2002) states that such programs are neither cost effective nor foster true loyalty. Regardless of their effectiveness, loyalty programs are now considered by customers as an expected part of the brand experience and require a constantly evolving strategy in order to be competitive (Tanford et al. 2016;Yoo et al. 2018). ...
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Straipsnyje nagrinėjamas lojalumo programų klausimas aviacijos sektoriuje. Pateikiama bendra lojalumo programos samprata, apžvelgiami įvairūs jų tipai, nagrinėjamos prisijungimo prie lojalumo programų sąlygos. Naudojama mokslinės literatūros, lyginamoji analizė. Užsibrėžiamas tyrimo tikslas – išnagrinėti situaciją didžiausiose Europos oro linijų bendrovėse vartotojų lojalumo programų klausimu. Dėmesys skiriamas šių programų paplitimui, tipui bei prisijungimo sąlygoms minėtose oro linijų bendrovėse. Naudojama turinio analizė. Tyrimo rezultatai atskleidė, jog beveik visos didžiausios Europos oro linijų bendrovės naudoja lojalumo programas, iš kurių didžioji dalis yra hierarchinio tipo, o pagrindinės dominuojančios sąlygos prisijungimui – vartotojo amžius (minimalus amžius – 2 metai, kai atsakomybę už vaiką prisiima tėvai) ir statusas (leidžiama prisijungti tik fiziniams asmenims). Dalis oro linijų bendrovių prisijungimui prie lojalumo programų taiko ir teritorinius, finansinius ar kitokio pobūdžio apribojimus. Tai leidžia daryti išvadą, kad bendrovės atsakingai žvelgia į vartotojus ir įvertina jų polinkį išlikti lojaliais ilgesnį laikotarpį.
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