Business travelers are the most lucrative segment in Hospitality. Recent research estimates business travel sector spend will reach $1.6 trillion by 2020. Business travelers tend to be less price-sensitive than their leisure travel counterparts since the company is usually covering the travel cost. For instance, business travelers account for 12% of airline passengers but are typically twice as profitable as other segments – sometimes representing 75% of an airline’s profits. Approximately 41% of travelers are booking hotel rooms for business trips, but they outspend leisure guests by 20% on average.
To claim a share of this coveted travel segment, hotels need to offer the essentials that business travelers look for. Below, we’ve outlined 5 key features that matter to business travelers:
- Location. Business travelers overwhelmingly choose to stay in close proximity to where their meetings are. This has to do with saving time and money on transportation to be sure, but it also means more precious time for sleep or preparation that isn’t wasted in the back of a car or cab in transit.
- Fast, Free Internet. The days of charging guests for a basic need like internet access have long passed. Providing high-speed, widely accessible and reliable internet is now table stakes to capture business travelers. And please, get those cables out of the room.
- Workspaces. Business travelers need a desk in the room big enough to actually work at that has plenty of power outlets. Two will not suffice. Hotels wanting to capture international business travelers should consider providing adaptors in the room as well. Hotels should have additional comfortable places for business travelers to work at elsewhere such as the lobby or lounge – with plenty of easily accessible power outlets.
- Efficiency. For business travelers, time really is money. This segment is most likely to have come further and spent more time standing in various lines to get to the hotel. Business travelers are the most frequent users of mobile boarding passes on airlines. They use their smartphone to optimize their efficiency and time. Hotels offering mobile check-in, mobile key and mobile check-out will appeal to this segment more than others. Recognizing the importance of this, Hilton, Starwood and Marriott hotels have all implemented mobile check-in, mobile key and mobile check-out worldwide.
- Loyalty Program. Because of how often business travelers are on the road, they tend to be more loyal. One reason why the large hotel brands are able to attract and keep this segment. Business travelers seek out predictable stay experiences – and they expect to be rewarded for their spend. Loyalty programs provide business travelers with recognition as well as a way to convert time spent away from home into rewarding travel experiences with friends and family as leisure travelers.