White Paper: A Case For Points-Driven Destination Loyalty Networks

August 20th, 2018

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Would you sign up for your city’s branded travel loyalty program?
— Luke Bujarski

Would you sign up for your city's branded travel loyalty program? What if it gave you exclusive discounts with your favorite independent hotels? What if it doubled as your local coffee shop punch card? What if it helped employ your friends and family? What value would it need to create for you? What would such a program look like? Can it be done?

In this white paper, we explore the concept of points-driven loyalty programs for destinations, and offer a model for how local stakeholders can work to drive economic development, by channeling more visitor spend toward local merchants. 

Airlines have points-driven incentive programs, hotel chains have them, credit cards have them, and travel booking sites have them. Why not destinations? Can cities and regions issue their own points to raise budgets and develop branded, rewards-driven initiatives as part of their visitor attraction strategies?

We argue that destination marketers are in a unique position to take the lead by utilizing existing resources and connections to local communities. We also show how points initiatives can help destination marketing organizations (DMOs) close the revenue gap facing these entities globally.


Revision Updates:

- White paper titled revised on 8/23/18
- Subheading and content under "non-profit" changed to "Scale to keep transaction costs low" 8/27/18

LUFT is strategic research advisory firm helping travel industry brands & investors anticipate change in a rapidly shifting digital landscape.