With the COVID-19 pandemic, the hospitality industry took a hit as people were no longer traveling. However, with the current vaccine rollouts, more hope is being restored, and travel is becoming possible for many again.

Even though the future of the hospitality industry may still be up in the air, one thing remains certain: people love loyalty programs.

Here are our predictions when it comes to trending loyalty programs in the hospitality industry.

Continued Perks

Despite the pandemic, perks will continue. Small hotels and other hospitality services have had to find ways to be more flexible for their customers over the past year. Some paused point expiration, extended status expiration, and others provided new incentives and experiences for their loyal customers. These loyalty programs are meant to allow customers to re-engage with brands and sign up for future services.

Increasing Travel

We will more than likely see a boom in travel toward the end of the year as the vaccine becomes available to more people. Over 54% of travelers have already said they booked their next trip, and others consider traveling in the near future. This will lead travelers to adjust their priorities, and companies in the hospitality industry will have to follow suit.

Some travelers have been looking for vacation destinations closer to home to save on expenses, and the remote workforce group has urged some to offer what is known as work from hotel rewards programs. It encourages remote workers to relocate their home office at a hotel nearby. This is just one-way hotels are learning how to be more flexible with their customers.

Underutilized Small Hotel Programs

With the bigger hotels taking advantage of new loyalty programs, it is easy to see why small hotel programs are underutilized. To remain competitive, smaller hotels also need to step up and offer incentives to travelers who book with them.

Point Systems

This is one of the more common loyalty programs a small hotel can utilize. The customers will earn a certain number of points for each purchase. They can earn more points when booking their room and earn even more for additional purchases during their stay.

There shouldn't be an expiration date on these points, and it should be used to encourage people to book directly on your website.

Instant Rewards

More than 40% of millennials have joined a loyalty program because it offered them the chance to earn rewards. Some instant rewards could be a free meal for those who refer a friend to stay or 10 percent off for those who leave a review.

As you can see, there are many ways a small hotel in the hospitality industry can encourage more people to book with them, even during these unprecedented times. For more advice on marketing your small hotel and improving retention, consult with the professionals at Occupancy Solutions, LLC.