All indications seem to point toward steady growth in business travel during 2015. Growth has been extended over the course of the last several years as the economy has rebounded and is expected to continue. For example, the Global Business Travel Association predicts that spending on business travel in the U.S. will rise by 6.2 percent during the current year. With this growth in business travel, it is essential for hotels to be both perceptive and anticipatory of the needs and desires of the business traveler in 2015. Hoteliers must gain an understanding of this crucial market segment, in order to best leverage it going forward.
Hotel Marketing For The Business Traveler
Business travelers are now an evolving demographic that is becoming extremely diverse. The Millennial generation is taking their place in the business world, as the largest generation at present; Millennials are having a profound impact for change upon the hospitality industry. Hoteliers will greatly benefit from taking into consideration the needs and wants of Millennial business travelers. Traits of this generation, such as their connectivity, willingness to share across a multitude of social networks, and taste for trendy designs, are transforming the hotel industry. Millennials are also much more likely to mix a business trip with leisure time activities, although this a growing trend certainly not limited to Millennials.
Older business travelers are, generally speaking, much more experienced at working from the road and are usually more prepared, spending more time in trip planning. Some of these more experienced travelers may be tired of life on the road, having to travel more frequently than they care to. These business travelers are seeking to feel at home, or as familiar as possible, wherever they stay.
Despite this, most business travelers, regardless of demographic, actually enjoy traveling for work and consider it a perk. There are things they all appreciate to be commonly found in the hotels which they choose to stay, and will wield an influence on their booking decisions.
1 - Brand Consistency
Business travelers are away from home and mainly looking for a comfortable, consistent guest experience, without any surprises. It is extremely important to the business traveler to feel familiar with every aspect of their stay.
2 - Loyalty Programs
Hotel loyalty plans are critical in keeping business travelers coming back, once their business has been gained. Guests can be encouraged to sign up and earn loyalty points by rewarding them with points whenever they “check-in” on social media or post a review of the hotel.
3 - Excellent Reviews
Studies have shown that reviews are the most important and influential factor for business travelers when selecting a hotel. Business travelers are looking to learn from the experiences of their frequent flyer peers. They are less influenced by a single negative review than a leisure traveler might be, as long as the hotel responds correctly and rectifies the issue.
In part 2 of this series, we will look at hotel technology changes and improvements that are influential in gaining the loyalty of business travelers.
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