People travel for different reasons – it could be leisure travel, a business trip or a solo travel. Reaching a new destination always has its set of worries despite the sense of joy and thrill it brings. Hotels near airport thus turn out to be a savior for many who have little time on hand but have a fixed agenda in place.
Business travelers or the corporate group is a regular source of revenue for hotels next to the airport. Business travelers and those who are on a short getaway can be considered to be the best alternative to increase room occupancy for such categories of hotels.
Airbnb, which has gained popularity in the recent times, has given seasoned hoteliers a run for their money. Airbnb devised a product suite for their Business Travel program with an aim to attract busy corporates on the go. This is an indication of the increasing importance of Corporate bookings for hotel revenue.
Hotels near to airport are preferred by travelers with the following objectives in mind:
- Travelers who have some time on hand between connecting flights
- Guests who want to cut down time/cost spent on commute within city (saving the hassles of cab bookings and coordination)
- Travelers who look for a comfortable and convenient stay near the airport
- Travelers who are hassled with canceled/delayed flights and want reasonable airport hotel deals
Business travelers or travelers who simply do not wish to enter the main city due to long layovers often find hotels near the airport to be a convenient option as long as their requirements are fulfilled. In different areas of the world, hotels have opened up and are attached to the terminals at airports. These offer great infrastructure and a place to rest for the business-class traveler. Such hotels are an attractive option for corporates looking to conduct a quick conference meeting between flights or wish to relax before hopping on to the next flight. Cancelled flights due to rough weather also lead to chaos for the hassled travelers. In such situations, budget hotels near the airport are most preferred.
Hotels Near Airport: How to Attract the Right Guests to your Hotel
Like every hotel property, owners of hotels near airport also face the challenge in attracting guests and ensuring the steady flow of revenue continues throughout the year. Unlike other hotels which have a steady stream of leisure travelers pouring in, or events that bring in a large number of people, hotels near airport need to employ a healthy mix of tactics to attract the right kind of guests.
1) Flexible Timings
Hoteliers need to understand the importance of having the flexibility to their check-in and check-out procedures. Guests looking for best deals near airport always look for flexible timings if they have a long haul flight are unsure what time they are landing or simply do not want the hassle of check-in restrictions. A guest may have different things to handle such as meeting schedules and erratic flight schedules post the meet. Flexibility in the timings brings in a great sense of relief for the busy traveler. Hoteliers, on the other hand, may have to deal with multiple housekeeping checks. However, the same can be avoided by having a hotel property management system in place. This automates tasks and directs hotel staff about schedules.
2) Quick Check-ins
Hotels near airport are preferred by guests to save their time which is precious indeed. This itself gives an indication of the efficiency required during the check-in and check-out process. Guests prefer quicker, paperless transactions, check-ins via mobile device kiosks for self-check ins and the like. Time is the key, and time saved translates into repeat visitors. Technology plays a major role here as such guests have little tolerance for traditional methods and manual entries. A tired guest who had a connecting flight which has just been canceled due to bad weather will have little patience for anything and everything that takes up his/her time.
3) Offer Transportation Services
Mobile applications meant to book a cab service or order a takeout have added a whole lot of convenience to the modern traveler’s life. Yet, most travelers prefer having the pick-up transportation arranged by the hotel after a long flight. The time taken to book a taxi and the wait that follows is often cumbersome. Hoteliers can provide pick-up and drop facilities which can extend up to nearby destinations such as conference halls or other venues. Busy travelers always look for these facilities before booking a hotel near an airport. Forward-thinking hotels may set up special counters and take reservations from weary travelers right there using their smartphones.
4) Quick Billings at various POS
Busy guests who choose to reside at hotels near airport may look for other services attached to your hotel premises. While he/she may be looking for best last minute hotel deals and those that save a good number of hours, hoteliers must be quick to ensure the entire billing process gets automated in the system. Strictly, no queues! This saves the trouble of manual updates within the POS counter and the front desk and the unnecessary communication that can follow. If you, as an hotelier, can itemize charges and maintain a single folio or as requested by the guest (route to the corporate account), you’d be saving time for the hotel staff as well as your guest. There’s nothing more unprofessional than a guest being made to wait for the final billing and staff who look clueless about the billing details. Speed is the key to woo the busy traveler.
5) Mobile-Optimized Website
Hotels near airport make your property an attractive stay for people who don’t intend to spend too much time in the city. When guests are looking up information on your hotel online, it’s imperative to have a mobile-optimized website in place. Your website must feature the plans and final pricing clearly on the page – specifically messaged for travelers at the local airport. No guest would like hidden charges, particularly those who are looking for last minute hotel deals. The website must list the amenities most useful for the business-class traveler ( eg. Wi-Fi and conference rooms). Even if your property does not fall directly under the business hotel category, devise packages to attract the right kind of guest to your hotel and market it for full occupancy. A fast-loading website that offers all the basic details and services and offers secure payments will make it easier for guests to finalize their online bookings within a few clicks.
6) Highlight Business Spaces, and Room Amenities
As mentioned earlier, your hotel property may cater to the leisure crowd as well as the corporate traveler. But, hotels near the airport can highlight their well-equipped business lounges to attract bookings. Hoteliers need to ensure basics such as Wi-Fi, quiet work areas, printers, ergonomic chairs, etc. to make their property appear attractive to the business traveler. What if your hotel property does not have the space for large conference meetings? In such a situation, you can offer common areas of the lounge or bars (provided the area includes quiet corners) and create an informal but corporate work setting. Including an ironing board and iron and a full-length mirror within the room also turns out to be a thoughtful gesture for the busy traveler. A pick-up and drop facility to the nearby conference halls can also be an option for large groups of corporate.
7) Automation of Services
Be it a budget hotel near the airport or a corporate one, automation of hospitality services prove to be a better choice for hoteliers who now have access to a whole lot of data. Automating tasks such as reservations, housekeeping tasks, guest preferences, notes about special requests, billing details, accounts and more can be easily automated. Hoteliers who use a property management system or hotel management system already know the higher levels of personalization that can be offered by the hotel brand and the guest. For e.g. have a repeat guest? Your team member will automatically be informed about his/her preferred room number if it is entered in the system. Technology helps enhance guest experience saving time for hoteliers and cutting down on costs and coordination spent between hotel staff. Work on your mobile app as more and more travelers are dependent on their smartphones for every kind of booking. Mobile apps also turn out to be a deciding factor to bring the direct booking for your hotel.
8) Target the Right Messages
It’s easy for hoteliers to target the right messages to the right customers with the appropriate data. E-mailers about conference bookings and discounts serve no purpose to the leisure traveler. Which is why, you need to highlight services that are of relevance only to the target group. For e.g. a business guest may require assistance to book a conference room. Guide him/her by sending out a relevant message. Have special mid-week discounts for corporate? Announce them via a mailer. Communication sent prior to arrival and post their stay at the hotel premises should always inform them by addressing their needs. When done appropriately, this must create an opportunity for a repeat booking in the future. Be in touch with corporate booking agents or with the corporate directly and keep them updated about offers and new amenities devised only for this particular class of travelers.
We hope these tips ensure your hotel turns out to be at the top spot on the list for the best hotels near airport. Being aware of the latest in hotel technologies will help hoteliers reach their goal and ensure occupancy all throughout the year.
The article was originally published in eHotelier