Feature Article - November/December 2015

Moving Right Along

New Innovations in Luggage & Travel Goods

By Emily Tipping


When adding it all up, don't forget the importance of accessories. The travel goods category provides a wide range of products that can go along with your luggage offerings, further easing travel.

"Now traveling is not just about the luggage you bring, but the accessories that make the travel experience more enjoyable," Fishman said. "From organized passport holders and Bluetooth headphones to portable mobile and tablet chargers, loyalty members want to redeem for items that ease the burden of being on the road."

"Luggage locators like the LugLoc that help travelers track any misplaced luggage using a smartphone app, and travel-sized luggage scales like the Velo from Escali," are good choices, Glamann said. "Bags that include smartphone and tablet chargers are also important in this always connected world."

In fact, there are around 30 million lost luggage claims every year, affecting 42 million passengers. With LugLoc, available through Top Brands, you can always know where your luggage is. LugLoc uses GSM-GPRS technology to locate missing luggage. Just tap the trace icon in LugLoc's smartphone app and a message is sent to the LugLoc device.

Duncan said Ricardo Beverly Hills has some exciting news coming in this area of the market, answering the company's mission to anticipate consumers' needs and offer "reliable, smart traveling solutions."

Cassius listed a number of exceptional accessories that go well with luggage—everything from digital scales and travel pillows to socks that can be worn in places where travelers are concerned about germs.

"With identify theft," he explained, "someone can be going through the airport and people can have a wand that can pick up information right from your wallet." This has led, he said, " to RFID-blocking wallets and passport holders."

Put It All Together

"Luggage and handbags have traditionally performed very well in the incentive industry, mainly because it is a category of merchandise almost every person needs," Fishman said. "A quality piece of luggage also tends to run higher in price range. When loyalty members can redeem hard-earned points for trending merchandise, such as the latest Johnston & Murphy messenger bag or the Commuter Backpack from Thule, it allows them to obtain the quality items they want without breaking the bank."

The Johnston & Murphy Collection Double Zip Briefcase, available through Rymax, is an ideal travel companion for the on-the-go, modern man. The full-grain leather construction, complemented with iconic detailing, gives a professional and sophisticated style. With a padded top zip compartment, as well as a security zip pocket, this briefcase offers spacious room to keep your most important files secured.

Luggage sets are especially suited to continuity programs, where participants earn a different piece every week or month, Glamann said, and Cassius agreed, adding that this type of program is particularly popular among casinos.

"The participant is motivated to earn different pieces of luggage with an end goal of achieving an entire matching set," Glamann explained. "One month they may earn a duffle, and the next a carry-on, and finally an upright trolley to complete the collection. Every time that piece of luggage is used, it serves as a reminder of the achievement that individual accomplished to earn it."

"For a business," Fishman concluded, "offering the luggage a travel goods consumers are looking for in their loyalty program reinforces trophy value. Every time that person travels with their bag they are reminded of how they earned the reward, and that motivates brand loyalty."