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Loyalty programmes as a tourism service sales channel: a Spanish multi‐sponsor programme case study

José Manuel Ponzoa Casado (Professor at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Pedro Reinares Lara (Professor at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)

Tourism Review

ISSN: 1660-5373

Article publication date: 21 September 2010




The relevance of this study lies in the search for alternative sales channels, not originally intended for this end, at a time of general crisis within the tourism sector. In spite of the great number of companies from the tourism sector that join multi‐sponsor loyalty platforms and the high volume of tourism service offers (flights, journeys, hotel accommodation, etc.) made and accepted through this medium, little is known about basic aspects for the management of such companies' participation. The paper aims to investigate this issue.


Using data from a leading programme in the Spanish market over a wide period of time – ten years and nearly 100,000 point redemptions have been analysed – additional sales in different tourism service categories, related with the redemption of points, have been evaluated by comparing them with other offers made.


Tourism service offers are indeed one of the reward choices most popular among cardholders. In order to obtain tourism offers the consumer usually makes up their points total in the programme to the required level by making additional payments. It is important to classify cardholders according to their point credit‐rating (the rate at which they accumulate points in the programme) and make them offers in accordance with their preferences.

Practical implications

The benefits that a tourism service provider may obtain by joining a multi‐sponsor loyalty programme and including its services as reward offers are discussed. For programme managers information and conclusions relevant to reward catalogue design are also expounded.


This paper helps tourism service providers to take decisions with regard to joining a multi‐sponsor loyalty programme by reviewing important issues relating to both point redemption and sales.



Manuel Ponzoa Casado, J. and Reinares Lara, P. (2010), "Loyalty programmes as a tourism service sales channel: a Spanish multi‐sponsor programme case study", Tourism Review, Vol. 65 No. 3, pp. 35-45.



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