Plastic loyalty – Investigating loyalty card programs for a Finnish hotel chain

Juho Pesonen, Raija Komppula, Jamie Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Web of Science)


Few studies of hotel loyalty programs, particularly field studies, examine basic questions such as the need for loyalty programs or their effects on hotel choice. Other gaps in loyalty program research include business versus leisure travelers, travel frequency and multiple loyalty program memberships. This case study extends loyalty program research by asking business and leisure customers of a Finnish hotel chain, without a loyalty program, what hotel attributes and loyalty program features appeal to them. Examining the 1315 responses highlighted significant differences between leisure and business travelers as well as the importance of travel frequency. The results suggest that the chain should consider intangible and symbolic benefits (e.g. upgrades and late check-outs), which would cost less than discounts or other tangible benefits. The chain might also consider developing a customer community offering emotional benefits and an interactive forum for targeted marketing and customer involvement in service development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-122
Number of pages8
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


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