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November 17, 2016 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Hands up, who would like a free night in a hotel?™, whose Rewards programme allows travellers to collect ten nights and get one free*, has revealed that savvy travellers from Hong Kong beat the rest of the world when it came to snapping up a free night away.


The™ Rewards programme has hit 25 million members this year, in the same year as the company celebrates its 25th birthday. The accommodation experts have looked back at the millions of free nights redeemed, to uncover who are the world’s savviest travellers.

Holiday lovers based in Hong Kong, Seoul and Los Angeles topped the list, with New Yorkers coming in fourth and Texans from Houston completing the top five savviest cities list.

With a free hotel night up for grabs, more than one in eight travellers globally booked up their hotel stay the very same day and usually opted for a four-star property. A third booked up their beds on their smartphone – a growing trend for today’s on-the-go travellers.

Top destinations and hotel hotspots

The top five destinations where travellers from Asia Pacific visited with their free nights were the tourist hubs of Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul, Singapore and Bangkok.

Jessica Chuang, Regional Marketing Director of Greater China, Southeast Asia and India for the brand said: “Hongkongers know a good deal when they see one, and they have once again proven themselves to be among the savviest consumers in the world. Ranking first in nights redeemed through the Rewards programme, Hongkongers beat the neighbouring Seoul and L.A. across the Pacific with their trained sense for value. Their enthusiasm with our services also tells us that the deals we offer are definitely on their radar.”

When it came to the hotels themselves, the draw of spending a free night in a five-star abode on the Vegas-like Macau was impossible to resist. The top five hotels where free nights have been taken by travellers from Asia Pacific were either in Macau or Tokyo, with hotels in Macau taking the top three spots:

  1. Sheraton Grand Macao Hotel, Cotai Central
  2. Galaxy Macau
  3. Holiday Inn Macao Cotai Central
  4. Hotel Gracery Shinjuku
  5. Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo

Treehouses, ranches and palaces

It wasn’t just hotels where free nights were spent, as hundreds of travellers opted for something a little quirkier and chose to stay in a castle, in a palace, on a house boat or on a ranch – with one lucky adventurer even staying in a treehouse in Swedish Lapland!

Chuang added: ‘To hit 25 million Rewards members in our 25th year is a great achievement and since the programme launched over 9 million free nights have been redeemed. With hundreds of thousands of properties to choose from, we’ve also seen members venturing far and wide, to enjoy their free night away, none more so than the savvy travellers from Hong Kong. If you’re looking for inspiration on where to spend your free night, follow our customers’ lead and try 24 hours in a riad in Morocco or a night in a picturesque castle in Prague!’ One Night Wonders Study also conducted a One Night Wonders global study to find out if travellers could jump on a plane tomorrow for just one day, where they’d go and what they’d do.

Paris came out as the top dream destination, according to 29% of travellers, with New York (26%) and Tokyo (26%) following closely behind.

Travelers would splash the cash and pay on average about HK$5,145 to spend 24 hours in their desired destination. They’d also be prepared to travel 12 hours on average to get there and the ultimate stay would be in a beach house (47%), a castle (46%), a house boat (40%) or an underwater hotel (37%).

50% would choose a super luxurious five-star hotel and 51% would take their partner to enjoy their one night experience. Travellers would cram as much into their 24 hour stay as possible, with 58% wanting to spend the whole time awake and sightseeing, 41% would eat all the local food in sight, 20% would party like there was no tomorrow and one in ten would live stream their entire trip.

The real dream though would be to arrive in style in a private jet (30%), automatically be able to speak the local lingo (31%), eat at the chef’s table of a Michelin star restaurant (33%), party with a celebrity (32%) and have a super power for the day (25%).

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