How to Bring the Business Traveler Back to Your Hotel
While leisure travel has almost fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels, the lucrative business traveler has been slower to rebound.
Recent predictions, however, promise a robust return of the business traveler in 2023.
This good news is long overdue. Make sure you aren’t caught flat-footed luring them back. Like everyone else, they have changed.
They want fast, mobile connectivity and free wifi. They want to book everything themselves. They want fully functional work areas in their rooms and co-working spaces with good coffee and natural light. Some want to mix business with leisure.
They expect personalization and they appreciate loyalty programs.
They want this all seamless and hassle-free.
Who are these new business travelers?
Their demographics have broadened. Some are strictly business, and some mix business and leisure. Some want luxury, and some demand sustainability. Here’s the latest:
- Millennials now make up the largest block of business travelers (aged 26 to 41). They value technology and do almost everything on their smartphones. They are less likely to use a travel agent and prefer to book everything themselves. They are more concerned about personal safety and they value sustainability.
- Bleisure Travelers mix business with leisure and often extend their stays to include tourism. Some are solo, some bring families and pets.
- Luxury Travelers are prepared to spend more on services and amenities. These are often upper management from larger corporations, slightly older than millennials, and prefer well-furnished rooms, access to five-star dining and entertaining, and top-shelf service. When they are happy they tend to be loyal.
- Strictly Business travelers have a need for speed. They want things fast and seamless, from online booking, and contactless check-in to superfast internet and robust wifi. They are more likely to utilize amenities provided by the hotel like pools, spas, hotel dining, and outdoor spaces. They appreciate loyalty programs.
These suggestions will appeal to most of your business travelers:
- Optimize your online presence. Make sure your website is fast and accurate, especially your online booking features. Review your SEO – make sure your content is relevant, current, and searchable. Make sure all content is current with any 3rd-party booking services
- Hassle-free check-in. Make this process as seamless as possible including contactless, keyless, and 24-hour service
- Hi-speed Wifi. Business travelers now expect reliable wifi and want it blazingly fast and free.
- Workspaces. Rooms should be fitted with comfortable, functional workspaces. This includes ample lighting, multiple power outlets, and ports.
- Coworking and Meeting Spaces. Business travelers need options for coworking and meeting.
- Promote your Business Services. Consider working with your Chamber of Commerce to host local business meetings and networking events. Highlight your business-friendly upgrades.
- Create Targeted Campaigns. Specifically to the business traveler your lodging will appeal to. Highlight your business-friendly offerings and deals.
- Create and promote business-specific loyalty programs
- Offer free shuttle services to business and conference centers
- Don’t forget to highlight your ‘bleisure’ features for travelers who intend to blend work with leisure.