The travel industry is one of the worst performing sectors for customer loyalty, according to Rob Nichols, managing director of plastic card manufacturer Plastic Card Services, that commissioned the UK report.
Around two thirds of adults have little or no loyalty to airlines and more than half the population (57.4%) has no allegiance to holiday destinations. When asked to rank their loyalty to a range of elements in their lives, most adults placed airlines and holiday destinations at bottom of the list, with aspects such as choice of car manufacturer, bars and restaurants scoring more highly.
As well as revealing trends in overall brand loyalty within the sector, the latest poll also highlighted a number of findings regarding the use of loyalty cards within the industry. In particular, it was found that only 3% of UK adults regularly use airline loyalty programs and less than 1% exploits hotel schemes on a regular basis.
But more than a third said they would be more likely to use a travel company that offered such a scheme, and almost 70% feel more loyal to a brand for which they own a loyalty card.
Mr Nichols said, “In today’s economic client, it’s critical that brands are doing all they can to create loyal customers but it seems that the travel industry has some way to go. As the results suggests, there is an opportunity for businesses to drive loyalty but, in order to do this, they must be offering customers added value, especially compared to their competitors.”
It is believed that 86% of the UK adult population is part of a loyalty card scheme, and on average, consumers carry 3.7 cards in their wallet or purse.