A recent research report from Oracle Hospitality reveals some surprising results indicating that millennials craving an individualized experience have more trust in Hotel Loyalty Programs.

The research also uncovered a surprising divide in perception between how Hotels view loyalty programs and what guests really think.

Why Hotels need to create more tailored loyalty programs

Why Hotels need to create more tailored loyalty programs

The research report from Oracle Hospitality shows that Hotels to a large degree believe that guests are very engaged in loyalty programs.

Hotels that think guests would openly sign up to every loyalty program;

  • 6% rarely join the loyalty program
  • 33% only sign up to select, relevant program
  • 61% sign up for every program

The research showed that guest is more selective, only signing up to programs with real relevance;

  • 30% rarely join
  • 46% only sign up to select, relevant programs
  • 24% sign up for every loyalty program

This shows that guest is far less engaged in loyalty programs that Hoteliers realize 61% of respondents believed guests will sign up for every loyalty program while in reality, only 24% of guests do.

There is a huge misconception here.

This indicates there is a great degree of missed opportunities within the Hotel Industry.

The opportunities lay in tailoring and individualized experience. Through a Social Media Marketing Framework Hotels has a unique opportunity to engage more effectively with guests.

An essential key to Social Media Marketing success today lays in collaboration. Thriving Social Media Communities will help Hotels with winning the new loyalty guests.

Millennials represent a new surprising form of Loyalty

Despite the misconception, the future of loyalty looks good for Hotels.

Hotels just need to get on board with new technology and embrace Social Media Marketing.

The research report from Oracle Hospitality did show that younger age groups, in particular, indicated their loyalty is growing. This is very good news for Hotels.

  • 24% of Millennials rarely join Loyalty programs
  • 46% of Millennials joins select relevant Loyalty programs
  • 29% of Millennials joins every Loyalty program

The major disconnect here lays in how Hotels measure their loyalty programs.

  • 75% measure their loyalty program in the context of commercial objectives

Over half of the Hotels only recognize data from guest surveys and loyalty cars. Also, one-quarter of Hotels measure transaction data and mobile apps.

All of these metrics are important from a Hotel Marketing perspective, but they don’t take into accounts important Social Media Marketing metrics like word-of-mouth and the growing importance of Social Media Influence.

Millennials are loyal to brands that they trust, know and have a relationship with.

And the research indicates they are more in favor of immediate rewards and experience.

  • 61% of guests think a loyalty program based on experience rather than points-based rewards would be appealing

It is a cultural shift that indicates the Hotels need to shift towards optimizing the experience.

Why Customer Experience and Relationship is the new Loyalty

Why Customer Experience and Relationship is the new Loyalty

One trend that the research brings out is that the guest thinks Social Media Influencers are more trustworthy than traditional advertising and celebrity endorsement.

Hotels need to understand how to identify the most valuable and relevant influencers.

The report shows that more than half of all respondents said they are likely to research brands on Social Media before buying or share photos Hotels that stand out on their Social Channels.

  • 57% are likely to research brands on Social Media before buying
  • 56% are likely to share photos that stand out on Social Media
  • 48% are likely to feature the Hotel on Social Media in exchange for a reward/offer
  • 46% are likely to link Social Media activity to a rewards program with automatic rewards for post

The new modern younger guests expect and effortless Hotel experience. And millennials are searching for an individualized experience that feels niche, not mass.

The report shows that guests that are recognized as individuals;

  • 69% think personalized offers based on their stated preferences are appealing
  • 65% think a more personal service from the staff is appealing
  • 65% think personalized offers based on purchase history are appealing

Guests that prefer an effortless experience;

  • 78% think immediate benefits are more appealing than accumulating points
  • 75% think a loyalty program that can be used at a range of brands is appealing
  • 73% think frequent rewards/offers which are not dependent on earning/redeeming points are appealing

A large portion of the respondents indicate a more intimate and personalized relationship with Hotel brands;

  • 90% finds it appealing to receive a personalized service from Hotel staff that understand their preference and point them to the relevant excursion, recommendations, and offers
  • 87% indicated that a mobile app that provides relevant and personalized information about the Hotel (e.g. navigating the Hotel, booking a table at the restaurant, booking activities or experiences)
  • 86% indicates they are willing to complete a questionnaire about personal preferences as part of a new loyalty program membership that offers can be tailored

How new alternative solutions and advanced technology enhance the Hotel Experience

The research report from Oracle Hospitality verifies that Hotels have to start to focus on a cultural shift that emphasizes on how the value proposition will close the gap between Hotel Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

Today technology plays a key role in driving connections and convenience.

Some of the data from the research reports show that the guest is more open to the idea of new and advanced technologies that enhance the Hotel Experience.

  • 87% indicated that would like the ability to explore Hotel rooms through Virtual Reality before deciding which Hotel to stay in or which room to choose as part of the booking process
  • 83% indicated they prefer to redeem loyalty points or rewards for new alternative experiences based on Social Media profile and preferences
  • 77% finds it appealing to take advantage of wearable technology that can be used to interact with the Hotel experience from room access to a personalized experience for the whole stay
  • 73% indicates that they to take advantage of voice-activated technology such as Alexa, Google Home, and Siri to control room lights, ambiance, and place room service orders

Know your Hotel Social Media Community and how they impact Loyalty

Today it is important to understand the secret of building meaningful Social Media Communities that focus on the value proposition, transparency, and humanness.

The research report from Oracle Hospitality uncovered four main types of guest that play some important roles within the community and help Hotels identify values that will help create an individualized experience.

  • The Broadcaster – this guest can your Hotels greatest brand advocate – or your biggest distraction. With Social Media channels as her megaphone, she is brand neutral and an avid sharer of the Hotel Experience that sparks her passion, good or bad. In today’s world if your Hotel keeps the Broadcaster happy she will evangelize harder than any ad or marketing campaigns your Hotel puts out.
  • The Enthusiast – this traveler is loyalty personified. He won’t shout about it on Social Media, but once you’ve gained his trust, he will stick with your Hotel faithfully. What the Enthusiast is looking for are excellent facilities and exceptional service. Provide him with new alternative service and products and he will be with your Hotel for life. He will follow your Hotel on all Social Media channels.
  • The Lazy Loyal – when this guest finds the right fit for her, she just wants to forget about the hunt and sit back and relax in the knowledge that her choice of the annual summer vacation Hotel and exotic winter bolt hole is perfect. She doesn’t want to shop around and often her choices are made around convenience. If the Hotel staff have a mobile or tablet so she can get everything she needs from anywhere in the Hotel, not just the front desk she is in heaven. The Lazy Loyal prefer the simple straightforward Loyalty programs, the easier the better. Keep making things easy or make them even easier for her and she’ll stick with you for life.
  • The Seeker – this guest likes to shop around for the best value offers and holds a little affinity for brands. He is primarily driven by the best value offers, the most competitive prices, and compelling promotions. If he is planning a long-haul adventure, while one Hotel might be more expensive than a competitor, if it comes with great value add-ons like airport transfers, inclusive excursions, a free spa treatment then he’ll opt for that.


The research report from Oracle Hospitality shows a big gap in how Hotels view loyalty programs and what guests think.

My friends from Oracle Hospitality captures some unique values focusing on capturing the moment and captivate your customers.

I will send a special thanks to my friends at International Luxury Hotel Association.

From a Social Media Consultant’s standpoint, the Social Media Community can offer Hotels a one-stop-shop for managing their Social Media marketing such as the community infrastructure, database, listening functionality, profile management, collaboration, content marketing and management, and of course, the analytics.

A Social Media Community will help your Hotel to grow smarter and faster when you focus on the value proposition and collaborate in effective ways.

If your Hotel need help to put it all together then make sure to let us know.

With the right team behind your Social Media efforts, it can become cost-effective and generate a new revenue stream for your Hotel.


Facebook Native Advertising will help Hotels redefine the customer experience. Take advantage of new innovative strategies that will improve your Hotels ROI.

FREE access to our Hotel Social Media Community – Get more insights and training about Facebook Native Ads for Hotels!

Our Social Media Management team has refined these processes to help Hotels. Contact us today to learn more.

Join our Free Hotel Social Media Community on Facebook for more in-depth insight.

Try something new it will magnetize your Hotel!

Be flexible and identify new ways to make guests happy.

As guest behavior and pattern continues to evolve, expectations will continue to rise. Navigating these changes can be challenging. Learn more about how we can help your Hotel.


Oracle Hospitality celebrates 40 years of innovation in Hospitality Solutions. From Cloud to mobile solutions, Oracle Hospitality enable customers to provide superior service and experience to their guests anywhere.

A special thanks to International Luxury Hotel Association.

About the author

Are Morch is the founder and owner of Are Morch – Hotel Marketing Coach. Get more from Are on Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Pinterest | Instagram| Podcast