For 74% of travellers, a brand's loyalty program is the significant factor in determining where they stay. And more than 70% of survey respondents rated Best Western Rewards (BWR) as their preferred loyalty program, according to an insight report commissioned by Best Western Hotels & Resorts. This article is copyright 2018 The Best Customer Guide.

Travellers polled as part of the study overwhelmingly agreed that the ability to earn points that never expire is a key benefit of a loyalty program, making a significant impact on their booking decisions. Similarly, when asked about the most negative aspect of a loyalty program, nearly one-third of respondents cited expiring points as their single-most frustrating factor. In addition, more than half of respondents indicated that they save their points for dream vacations, further underscoring the importance of points not expiring.

A staggering ninety-eight percent of respondents indicated that they have used earned points to book hotel stays.

Nearly 90% of respondents indicated that receiving instant rewards was a key feature and benefit. As part of the BWR refresh last year, members now receive instant rewards with each and every stay.

Amidst today's increasingly competitive hotel landscape, travelers are simplifying and channeling their loyalty, relying on fewer programs for their booking needs. This trend further amplifies the importance of brand trust and reputation.

Forty-one percent of study respondents indicated that customer loyalty is bolstered by delivering successful guest experiences with each stay. Another 20% of respondents pointed to having hotels in locations where they travel as an important factor influencing loyalty.

Brand trust and location topped all other factors affecting loyalty, including points earning potential.

"The results of this study confirm that loyalty programs remain a meaningful, driving factor in customer consideration of hotel brands," said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Best Western Hotels & Resorts.