One of the open secrets of the travel industry is that hotel general managers love corporate travelers. When they look at their list of tomorrow’s incoming visitors, they first check to see how their guests booked their rooms. If they have a travel management company or another big name corporate travel agency on the list next to the guest’s name, they set aside the premier rooms for them. Why? The simple reason is that travel management companies represent a huge chunk of business for the hotel chain. And those in the hospitality business know that they should keep their best customers happy.
A few more reasons hotel managers like to host business travelers:
• Year-round Business: their trips aren’t dependent on the season or the weather, as is the case with leisure travelers.
• Monday to Friday Bookings: business travelers are often the only reservations on weekdays.
• Minimal Occupancy: business travelers arrive late, leave early, and generally don’t spend a lot of time in their rooms or using communal facilities.
• Not Price Sensitive: when you’re traveling on the company’s dime, you don’t mind paying a few extra dollars for your ideal hotel room.
Hotels Value Loyalty
Corporate travelers have an incentive to stay loyal thanks to the extra perks and amenities once they reach a certain level of elite status – concierge-level rooms, high-speed Wi-Fi and free breakfast are some of the common privileges of the hotel elite. The desire for loyalty points at a certain hotel chain drives the decision-making when it comes to booking a work trip. Perhaps the paramount concern of frequent business travelers is collecting loyalty points and accruing the next status level. Business travelers in all demographic groups - from millennials to baby boomers - are playing the points game and tend to avoid shopping around for accommodations.
Attracting the Business Customer
As hotels get to know their guests better, they’re enhancing their amenities and services to welcome corporate guests. To a frequent business traveler, one of the most valuable offerings in a hotel is to find some of the comforts of home. Holiday Inn is revamping rooms with a new entryway to hang coats & drop off bags, and a rollaway desk that can multitask for work or eating. Residence Inn by Marriott offers free grocery shopping to stock your full-size fridge prior to arrival. The Westin Buffalo has rolled out Chip, the robot butler to bring guests requested amenities.
Blending Business & Leisure
As the line between work and play becomes increasingly blurred, hotels are offering visitors a chance to relax after the workday ends. Social experiences in hotels are gaining in popularity. Some properties will hire a band or show a big sporting event on a big screen in order to host a gathering. Pool tables allow groups of guests to congregate and slip in a little bleisure. Adding on a social experience after work can improve employee engagement and team-building or a chance to entertain their customers.
As hotels up the ante to compete for your travel dollars, business travelers can only benefit from added amenities, fun shared experiences and more comfortable rooms. Did you know that travel management companies can negotiate incredible savings on hotel rates? Check this out.