When Airlines and Hospitality join forces

In an ever-evolving travel industry, travelers now prioritize experiences over material souvenirs. This trend has prompted airlines and hotels to collaborate to enhance their customer experiences while reducing their travelers’ carbon footprint.


The travel industry has undergone a transformation in recent years, with today’s travelers prioritizing memorable experiences over material souvenirs. This shift has become particularly evident in the post-pandemic period, where tourism has regained its momentum. Airlines, hotels, and travel operators are capitalizing on this trend by offering unique experiences to enhance customer loyalty.


According to the “Travel Industry Trends 2023” report by Mastercard, tourist spending on experiences like restaurants, theme parks, and nightclubs has increased by 65% in March 2023 compared to March 2019, while spending on material goods has only increased by 12%.


This quest for unique experiences has become a significant driver of growth for many businesses.


As MGM’s CEO, Bill Hornbuckle, notes, this growth now comes from entertainment, luxury dining, and culinary experiences. “There is an appetite for high-level experiences that people seem willing to pay for,” he says. While revenues from casino gaming, such as those at MGM Resorts International, have increased, they remain relatively stable.


Airline and hotel group alliance


Airlines have been at the forefront of this trend, with American Airlines allowing its members to earn miles and points by purchasing tickets for entertainment events through their website. This initiative has been highly successful, leading more members to use the platform to book event tickets.


The hotel industry is closely following this trend. Marriott International appointed its first “Chief Customer Experience Officer” in February to develop a global strategy focused on experiences. Peggy Roe, the new director, explains that Marriott aims to provide customers with access to unique experiences they couldn’t plan on their own. She cites examples like auctions where members can learn skills and get a manicure from a professional female American football player.


Other companies have also observed increased revenues from experiences. Viator, TripAdvisor’s experience platform, reported a 59% increase in revenue in the second quarter of 2023, totaling $216 million. This represents about 44% of the company’s revenue, a significant increase from the previous year.


Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is a perfect example of this trend. The hotel chain launched the “Kimpton Plant Pals” program, allowing customers to request region-specific plants for their rooms, each accompanied by a unique label, creating a personalized experience. Kimpton has also collaborated with Plant Kween, a plant-focused influencer, to offer a unique selection of region-based native plants for each property.


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Featured photo : ©Press

Picture of Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet
Hugues Reydellet is a young and passionate journalist whose favorite subjects are economy, culture, gastronomy, but also cars, and sports. With a sharp pen and an insatiable curiosity, Hugues is constantly on the lookout for new hot information to report.

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