Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Building Hotel Brand Loyalty - The Budget Traveler

While the world has seen a steady growth rate in the numbers of genuinely affluent travelers, many individuals and businesses have had to tighten their budget belts in recent years. A reflection of the economic conditions of the last several years has been behind the trend toward budget conscious travelers seeking so called “last minute deals”. These budget travelers diligently search online for reduced price hotel inventory in order to find bargains on the highest quality accommodations that they or their company can afford. There is a desire to not give up a certain level of lifestyle standard,  while budgeting for a hotel stay, both of which are really driving this trend.

Lower budgets should not have to necessitate booking a hotel and enduring a stay at a distinctly lower caliber of accommodations. Also, lower cost does not necessarily have to equate to cheap. For those travelers on limited budgets who do not want to downgrade to an economy hotel and sacrifice comfort, amenities, or services, something new is in order. This is the thinking behind a relatively new trend in the hospitality industry around the world, the budget hotel.


The Budget Hotel

The budget hotel is specifically designed to appeal to travelers who have cost limitations, but who wish to stay in hotels with the features that are important to them and are willing to give up those that they consider superfluous. Generally, budget hotels offer rooms of a smaller size than found in the next class up, yet are very comfortably furnished. Many budget hotels provide furniture, room styling, and architecture which are very modern and chic, to appeal to the target market Millennials. The so-called “Millennial” generation and their likes, desires, and travel habits are the real force shaping the image of the new budget hotel.

In keeping with the priorities of younger travelers, extra amenities made available often don’t involve much more than excellent Internet connectivity. The connection is usually very high speed since that is often a deal breaker for Millennials. To many of these travelers spacious accommodations are a lower priority because they prefer to spend time, and in particular work, in the open common areas which are often another feature of the budget hotel. Some budget hotels offer their amenities in an a la carte fashion. By charging guests only for the amenities they want, the cost can be kept down. What budget travelers are looking for most in a hotel is smartly appointed and comfortable rooms which reflect their modern sensibilities that are affordable as well.

The concept of the budget hotel can only grow and expand as the Millennial generation gradually comes to dominate the travel and hospitality industries. The budget traveler offers hotels an opportunity to gain the brand loyalty of younger and cost conscious  travelers while potentially reducing the downward rate pressure from “last minute deals”.


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