Gone are the days when all was strictly black or white, everything requires a shade of grey nowadays. Today’s business travellers do not believe in the notion of ‘not mixing business with pleasure’; they want it all while they are travelling.
Business travellers tend to look at hotels which offer some extra facilities apart from their basic business needs. Location, facilities, recreations, add-ons are some of the factors which are considered before finalizing the hotel, even more so if they plan to travel with family. Even companies while planning conferences or retreats prefer locations where the participants can unwind after a long day’s work.
Small and mid-sized hotels can attract a large chunk of corporates if they can highlight or incorporate the following measures:
Location: A hotel cannot change its location; if they are centrally located then they have an upper hand anyway. But what the hotel can do is highlight their current location. Mention places close to the hotel that can attract a traveller; recreational facilities, nearby restaurants, tourist destinations as well as access to local and public transport. A hotel doesn’t need to be located downtown to be attractive; it’s just about reaching out to the customer and letting them know what all they have access to.
Offer Free Wi-Fi – Any and every traveller nowadays need to have accessibility to Wi-Fi as it’s extremely essential for the business traveller. With everything done electronically nowadays, a businessman or woman is incapacitated without internet access. It would be a great and profitable marketing strategy for hotels to offer free Wi-Fi; it shall entice more guests and ensure your hotel will have a preferred edge over other hotels. Globally it shall also ensure that the hotel is more visible, since now one of the first things that travellers search for while booking a hotel is ‘Free Wi-Fi’.
Ease of Transactions: Internet has made the world extremely small. So much is available at the click of the button and as per the customers’ expectations. For hotels to attract global customers and especially business travellers, they should support multi-currency payment options and flexibility of payment.
Offer Value Add Packs: To entice business travellers, hotels should create special packages for the business travellers; it may include some meals, happy hour deals, spa options, half day sightseeing etc. This would basically make it easier for the traveller to enjoy the city without the hassle of having to plan each and every detail. This is also a great opportunity for hotels to upsell their various POS.
Automate the Process: To make the back-end of reservations and the front desk simpler, hotels should opt for PMS and distribution systems that can conduct corporate reservations on negotiated contract rates. This shall completely automate the process and shall encourage continued business from their regular corporates.
Make your Hotel Visible: Equip your hotel with the right distribution system so that the hotel is visible in the global marketplace. Ensure that you have access to the right channel managers and distribution system so that your rooms are available in real time through various channels. A reliable and efficient distribution system which is integrated with a PMS would be an ideal solution for a small and mid-sized hotel. PMS systems will ensure that the hotel’s website is integrated with various OTAs and is accessible to customers across the globe.
By incorporating the above mentioned points, hotels across the globe can be sure of attracting business travellers who want a little fun, to their property.