(Dis)Loyalty and the European Leisure Traveler

(Dis)Loyalty and the European Leisure Traveler Published August 2015 Analysts: Cathy Walsh, Marcello Gasdia


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Loyalty programs are nothing new to today's travelers, but recent and dramatic changes in technology and consumer behavior are shaking up these programs. Travelers have more options than ever before, and mobile and big data are creating new opportunities for personalized service. Is there really a place for loyalty programs in the European traveler's already overabundant array of purchasing decisions? Is there a way to adapt these programs to better serve both travel sellers and the travelers themselves?  

Phocuswright's (Dis)Loyalty and the European Leisure Traveler takes a close look at travel loyalty in Europe to assess participation levels and impacts for airline, hotel and online travel agency (OTA) loyalty programs. The report explores the relationship between loyalty program membership and brand loyalty, providing a detailed profile of the behaviors and attitudes of loyalty participants at all status levels, with particular attention to high-value elite loyalty members.

Topics include:

  • Loyalty's influence on travel shopping and booking
  • Loyalty's influence on product and channel selection
  • Airline, hotel and OTA loyalty program participation by age and spending
  • Loyalty status levels and the "super elite"
Purchase Phocuswright's (Dis)Loyalty and the European Leisure Traveler for insight into how to market to these loyalty travelers and how to tailor your loyalty programs to capture more members.

  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Key Findings
  • Airline, Hotel and OTA Loyalty Program Participation
    • The Impact of Business Travel
    • Loyalty, Age and Spending
    • Airline and Hotel Loyalty Status
  • Multiple Memberships
  • Loyalty’s Influence on Travel Shopping and Booking
  • Loyalty’s Influence on Product and Channel Selection
  • Loyalty Point Redemption
  • Appendix: Respondent Demographics

Phocuswright fielded an online consumer survey between June 26 and July 2, 2014 through Global Market Insite, Inc., targeting the general French, German and U.K. adult populations that have Internet access and travel for leisure.

To qualify for participation in the study, respondents had to indicate they had taken at least one leisure trip at least 100 kilometers from home in the past 12 months that included paid lodging, air travel and/or rail travel. An additional screener required consumers to have played an active role in planning their leisure trips. Respondents who qualified are referred to as "French/German/U.K. leisure travelers."

The term "lodging" is used to refer to the broad range of paid accommodations, including hotels, other nightly priced lodging products, timeshares and vacation rentals.

Phocuswright received 3,461 qualified responses (France 1,084; Germany 1,323; U.K. 1,054), and the respondent pool can be projected with confidence to the adult population with Internet access. A total of 6,494 adults were surveyed to obtain baseline metrics about travelers and nontravelers within the general online population. The error interval for analysis of the traveler population within each individual country is +/-3.0%. More in-depth demographic information about survey respondents is available in the Appendix of this report.

Based on data from Eurostat, Phocuswright projects the number of adults with Internet access who took at least one leisure trip (as defined above) in 2014 to be 23 million in France, 36 million in Germany and 29 million in the U.K. The additional requirement for respondents to have played an active role in travel planning further tightens the study's focus, as 21% of travelers were consequently disqualified.

US $695 
CA $888 • £497 • €568
FREE for Open Access, Global and European Subscribers
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