IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group, along with SAMHI, undertook an in-depth consumer survey to better understand the needs and expectations of the road warriors in India. The survey revealed that while 54% of the respondents are already enrolled in a hotel loyalty programme, an impressive 74% see benefits in enrolling in a loyalty programme.
The survey was conducted by Nielsen India in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad with 25-44 year old frequent travellers, who travel largely for business across India and seek mid-market hotel accommodation. The survey also revealed, larger percentage of the respondents in Bangalore (62%), Hyderabad (58%) and Delhi (57%) are enrolled in a hotel loyalty programme. Among those already enrolled in a hotel loyalty programme, 56% stated that the benefits offered by the programme were by far the most valuable aspect of the loyalty programme followed by ease of redemption (24%) and global network (20%).
Besides a strong loyalty program, the road warriors also give importance to the overall reputation and status of the hotel brand. 32% of respondents stated the reputation and status of the brand more important than the price. Thus, though the midscale travellers plan their travel and hotel stay around a certain budget, quality and consistency of service reflected in the brand experience has emerged as a more important consideration for the travellers who seek value over price.
Vivek Bhalla, Regional Vice President, South West Asia, IHG commented on the survey, “It’s great to see the survey validating that travellers find value in enrolling for hotel loyalty programmes. Over the last few years, we have witnessed a significant rise in the enrolment numbers for our global loyalty program, IHG Rewards Club, in the Indian market. IHG Rewards Club offers great benefits to our guests and we currently have over 100 million members enrolled in the programme, globally. For added convenience of our guests, we also have an award-winning mobile App which allows them to book their stay easily and provides them with industry leading loyalty redemption options and a richer stay experience.”
“The survey also indicates a large untapped market for hotel loyalty programmes and offers hotel chains within the mid-market segment an opportunity to build a loyal consumer base”, he further added.
Ashish Jakhanwala, Founder, MD & CEO SAMHI Hotels commented, “It is reassuring to note that the status and reputation of hospitality brands have emerged as more important attributes than the price. IHG holds a strong reputation globally for its signature hospitality, standardised brand experiences and a great loyalty programme, IHG Rewards Club, which has a huge member base. We have been working closely with IHG in India to deliver the same benefits and guest experience that reflects the warmth and operational excellence of IHG and is consistent across our entire Holiday Inn Express portfolio in India”
IHG has been spearheading the growth of the mid-scale hotel segment in the country specifically with the Holiday Inn brand family, via rapid expansion and strategic partnerships. Following the partnership with SAMHI, the Holiday Inn Express brand has been emerging as one of the fastest growing brands in the midscale hotel segment in the country.