The woman traveler has become the fastest growing and most influential demographic force shaping the hospitality industry today. As increasing numbers of women enter the workforce, they now comprise nearly half of all business travelers. In America alone, according to the Travel Industry Association, there are 32 million single women who travel every year. 30 percent of those women travel five or more times in a year.
This travel is for more than just business, but leisure travel as well. Solo vacation travel by single women is on the rise, based on information from Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Their figures indicate a 53 percent increase in single occupancy hotel room reservations made by women from 2011 to 2012. All of these numbers add up to the fact that hotels around the world must respond to the needs of the woman traveler. But what do women look for in a hotel?
The fact that most airlines are charging for checked baggage puts an extra burden on women trying to fit all they need for their trip in one carry-on bag. Women like when hotels provide items on loan that they require, but would rather not have to pack. These items should include phone chargers, laptop power cords, hair dryers, curling irons, flatirons, razors, and yoga mats. Anything they may either forget or would take up too much space in their bag. Also, women expect to be able to actually use hotel toiletry items such as shampoo and conditioner and so would like to see them be of a higher quality, more like what they would use at home.
Anyone who is trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle knows how difficult this can be while traveling. Providing healthy meal, snack, and beverage options in hotel restaurants and room service is of importance to women. Giving hotel guests the choice of smaller portions, meals prepared in healthier ways, and fresh juices or smoothies should be offered
Safety and Security
Safety and security are of much greater importance to women travelers than men. Because of this fact, some hotels have tried offering female-only floors, but this trend has not become widespread as many women feel offended by being singled out to that extent. Better solutions that will make women hotel guests truly safer and feel that way is to provide 24-hour staff at reception, female room service staff, and secure parking on hotel property.
Hotels need to recognize the importance of the woman traveler to the future of the hospitality industry. Women are now making most of the hotel booking decisions. This is whether they are traveling solo, with a group or family, or male companion. Hotels need to respond to their expectations for comfortable and safe travel.
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