The Future of Hotel Loyalty Programs is "Now"
As with most loyalty award programs, there seems to be a tug-o-war between consumer and business in finding value. This causes businesses to tweak their programs to try to keep their profit margins up and certain consumers then find and exploit the newly created loopholes.
Skift has a great rundown on the immediate future of hotel loyalty programs. There seems to be a general theme amongst the various hotels to want the customer feel the immediate value of a reward loyalty program. I'm not 100% sure what this means for the consumer, at this point, because I know these changes in reality aren't about giving back to consumers but rather taking away.
+ Marriott is probably the hotel chain most people have their eyes on at the moment, as their recent merger with Starwood still has changes playing out affecting all award travelers. They have recently announced award category changes for several hotels across the globe and have also announced a program they will be implementing to combat the rise of Airbnb and other such services.