October 14 2009 by Chris McGinnis
As many readers of this blog know by now, I recently brought together a group of Best Western's most frequent guests to form the "Best Western Diamond 100." This advisory group consists of business travelers who have stayed with Best Western more than 250 nights over the last five years.
When we first reached out to this group, we expected that about 100 would agree to participate--hence the name Diamond "100." To our delight, nearly 400 road warriors signed up to share their thoughts and voice their opinions on a number of business travel-related topics important to them. This is indeed an excellent illustration of how loyal these folks are to the Best Western brand.
Speaking of loyalty, our most recent BWD100 survey examined members' feelings about frequent travel programs and revealed some interesting nuggets:
- We read and hear much more about airline frequent flier programs than we do about hotel loyalty programs. I was surprised to see that 76 percent of BWD100 members said hotel programs are more important to them; only 16 percent said airline programs were. I think this illustrates something very unique about the BWD100: members of this group drive much more often than they fly, a trait revealed in an earlier survey.
- Based on media's recent infatuation with social networking, you'd think everyone on the planet were active on Facebook and Twitter. Not so much with the BWD100. About half said they never use social media sites, and of the half who does, only about 14 percent say they do so frequently.
- Nearly 60 percent feel the loyalty they give to hotel loyalty programs is equal to the loyalty they feel they get in return, but about 35 percent feel they give more than they get when it comes to the programs.
- What's the most important benefit of the Best Western Rewards program to this group of super frequent travelers? Bonus points with every stay and room upgrades top the list.