How small independent hotels can attract and delight business travellers

Erfolgreicher Manager liegt mit Tablet PC im Hotel auf dem Bett

Business travel in UK is about to witness an all-time high this year. With Global Business Travel Association reporting that business travellers spending is expected to advance in the next two years nearing 5.1% to £27B ($45.2 billion USD), up from £25.7B ($43 billion USD) in 2014 and 4.4% from 2013. GBTA also reports that 91% of corporate travel managers say their company uses a preferred hotel program which means if hoteliers don’t strategize well to attract this segment, they are sure to miss out on a big opportunity. It’s time to find out how to attract this big chunk of business travellers.

Today’s tech-savvy travellers have access to multiple OTAs and hotels. Now the question arises, why would travellers choose your hotel? How will you differentiate your hotel from your competitors? How will you drive more bookings? These are some of the common concerns faced by hoteliers and can be solved by offering your guests an exceptional experience that will make your hotel stand out from the rest.

Here are simple tips to sweeten the deal with a few extra perks for your business travellers:

Pre-arrival tips:

Shuttle services and transport during stay: Hotels can offer airport pick-up and drop services to guests, especially the first timers to the city who have no clue about your city. This way, guests can avoid waiting for a taxi or going through the long and tiring process of renting a car. Hotels must also make arrangements for transportation during the stay for guests to commute to nearby venues and offices easily.

Pre-arrival assistance: It is good to provide pre-arrival assistance to guests in order to help them plan their trip better – right from assisting them with prior check-in via tablets, making dining and recreational arrangements and handling meeting appointments. All this will go a long way to show that your hotel values the business travellers’ time.

During the stay tips:

Speedy check-in: Business travellers are in a rush all the time due to their hectic schedules. Hotels should make sure that their check-in process is carried out swiftly, sans errors. 

Welcome drink: Offering a welcome drink on arrival does not cost much and makes a pleasant first impression on your guest.

Free and high-speed Wi-Fi: This is one of the most important amenities for business travellers as internet connectivity is a must to check the day’s schedules, browse emails, stay in touch with colleagues and clients.

Business kit: Business travellers often travel with gadgets like smartphones, laptops, tablets and iPads. It is a good idea to provide a gadget charging unit along with a complimentary folder for holding documents and a pen in the business kit.

Fully-equipped meeting halls:  The meeting hall should have the essentials like the printer, scanner, flat-screen TV, speakers, microphones and LCD projectors so that the business-related discussions happen smoothly. The halls should be functional throughout for the business travellers as they may want to use it for their associates who reside in other regions with different time zones.

Alternatively, hoteliers could also provide gadgets on rent so that the guests can travel light and get access to all these facilities to fulfill their business requirements.

Recreational facilities: Business travellers hardly find time to work out during travel. Hotels offering fitness facilities like a gym, swimming pool and spa for the guests to de-stress and energize themselves are often preferred by business travellers. Some hoteliers also offer entertainment options like the PlayStation and movies for guests to unwind after a tiring day.

Mini-bar: Provide a mini-bar in the room for guests who love to indulge in drinks and relax in the comfort of their room.

Departure tips:

Quick check-out: Your guests will love a quick check-out that can be done from anywhere in the hotel like their room or the restaurant using a tablet or smartphone.  Using new technology like Cloud property management system offers this luxury to hoteliers.

Parting gift: It’s a good practice to give a parting gift to your guest like chocolates or any specialty from your town that will be remembered by your guest forever. You can then politely request for reviews for your good service as you would have a better chance of getting a review then.

Business travellers prefer hotels that provide useful amenities that ease their work schedules and offer an experience of a home away from home.

 Invest in technology that will help enhance your guests’ experience

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  • Whilst I agree with the majority of these suggestions, great article Manisha, we must never forget that it is the Corporation that selects the property in their preferred program and pays the bill. What’s in it for them?

    • Hi Doug. Thanks for liking my
      article and I appreciate the point you’ve brought out. It’s true that the
      corporates select the hotel and the programs but the biggest factor is the
      experience that the employee has during his/her stay. Hotels provide various
      services like Wi-Fi, round the clock restaurants, shuttle services and more to
      ensure convenience for the traveler. It is then that the traveler carries the
      experience back to the corporate for prolonged business.

      • Rajbir

        Hi Doug – This is a valid point. Some corporations give employees options, then good experience helps. Corporations also have needs like centralized / consolidated report of all expenses in a format that can be analysed. This can help corporation potentially fine tune their policies. Hotels can also provide suggestions to corporations on plans based on their total spend. Corporations also like comparison of how they are doing versus others, etc and this need can also be served by hotels. No direct experience needs, but there are other customer needs that can be met.

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  • Amarjot Singh

    Business travelers are busy and they demand convenient and efficient services which saves time. Online booking process provides an easy access to the hotels nearby the location which provides affordable rates during their business trips.