Avis Budget Group announced March 12 that the company's focus on maintaining and expanding travel partnerships made substantial contributions to its results in 2011. Revenue from co-marketing agreements with leading travel brands and other affinity relationships grew by more than $100 million on a year-over-year basis in 2011, making a significant contribution to the company's financial results for the year.
"We have made an ongoing investment to have our brands front and center when business and leisure travelers are thinking about travel plans," said Ronald L. Nelson, chairman and CEO of Avis Budget Group. "Our partnerships successfully pair our brands with those of other leading travel companies and affinity groups in ways that enhance our own brands while making a significant contribution to our financial results."
Avis Budget Group signed new travel partnership agreements in 2011 with marquee brands including InterContinental, La Quinta Inns & Suites, MGM Resorts International and Wyndham Vacation Ownership expanding the company's global portfolio of established travel and affinity group partnerships, which also include Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Frontier Airlines, Lufthansa, Qantas, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, AARP, Canadian Bar Association and Costco Travel.
Avis Budget Group seeks these agreements with leading brands as part of the company's ongoing strategic initiative to drive profitable growth in rental transaction volume, increase Avis and Budget brand exposure, and introduce new travelers to Avis' and Budget’s service.
Examples of the ways that travel partnerships drive revenue and enhance customer loyalty include:
• Convenience: The opportunity to book Avis or Budget reservations through a marketing partner's channels allows airlines and hospitality companies to provide their customers with the convenience of making complete travel plans all at one time, which drives incremental bookings and revenue for Avis Budget Group.
• Brand exposure: Marketing partnerships enable Avis Budget Group to reach travelers with incentives, promotions and other marketing offers through non-traditional channels including airline in-flight media, membership communications and partner websites, which helps influence purchase decisions by travelers at the time they are making their ground transportation choices.
• Customer loyalty: Participating in travel-company loyalty programs that allow their members the opportunity to use their miles, points or other loyalty currency to book Avis or Budget rentals increases the value of program membership for our partners, while introducing new customers to our brands to enjoy the consistently outstanding rental experience provided by Avis and Budget.
"Our emphasis on travel partnerships as a strategic initiative is expected to continue to make a significant contribution to our financial results in 2012 and beyond," Nelson said.