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Loyalty programs may help brands through tough economic times: survey
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15:15, July 02, 2009

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Sixty-two percent of travelers across Asia Pacific are now feeling "as loyal" or "even more loyal" to brands in response to the current economic downturn, largely influenced by the presence of effective loyalty program, according to a survey released here on Thursday.

The survey, which was conducted by Hilton Honors with 5,000 respondents across China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia.

Participants were surveyed if they would choose a specific hotel even if they knew it was more expensive but would accrue them personal loyalty points, 47 percent of all travelers agreed that they would. This behavior was even more common in China and India where the figure rose to (67 percent) and India (52 percent) respectively but less prevalent in Australia (36 percent) and Japan (37 percent).

The survey showed that 79 percent of Australians felt more or equally loyal to brands in the presence of effective loyalty programs, amidst the economic downturn, as did 73 percent of those in China, 69 percent in India and 59 percent in Japan. Conversely South Koreans felt less optimistic with only 27 percent in the as loyal or more loyal group.

Deborah Merrens, Hilton Hotels Director of Strategic Partnerships explained the results, "What this new research shows is that it is the added value provided through loyalty programs, more than price, which remains the critical factor in a customer decision making. This means that loyalty continues to be a key to any brand aiming to retain and attract customers."

The results showed that loyalty from building long-term relationships through constant and consistent attention to customers may be able to help a brand through challenging economic times, she added.


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