With so many accommodations now available to travelers, the hotel industry is under more pressure than ever. Not only do travelers have their choice of many different traditional hotels, but new accommodation-sharing options mean people can find specific lodging solutions virtually anywhere they go.
As such, hotels must strive to make travelers’ experiences as comfortable, friendly and feature-rich as possible. In particular, business travelers comprise a disproportionate share of hotel guests, making them a critical component of any hotel’s long-term viability.
What exactly do business travelers want when choosing a particular hotel? What trends of hospitality would hold key to their competitive advantages? Let’s examine five things that are very important to this demographic.
Fast and Reliable Wireless Internet
Business travelers, of course, do a lot of work while on the road. Some even purchase dedicated cellular or satellite internet access to use their laptops and tablets from anywhere. However, business travelers expect fast and reliable Wi-Fi connections from the hotels where they stay.
This amenity should be available throughout the entirety of the hotel – both inside and out (click here for best practices on installing hotel Wi-Fi networks). It should also be complimentary, as hotels that charge extra for wireless internet are often perceived as “cheap”. Guests shouldn’t have to do anything besides check-in and log on to access the same quality of internet they’d enjoy while at home.
Hotel rooms exist more than anything for the purposes of sleep. While plenty of other considerations exist, the quality of each hotel room’s mattress can have a huge impact on repeat business traveler behavior.
Many business travelers spend days on the road, driving or flying for hours at a time. Beds that offer poor lumbar support or that are too soft/firm can be a huge turn-off for business travelers. As such, hotels absolutely must invest in beds that provide both supporting and cooling functionality.
Business Center Amenities
A reliable internet connection is a huge benefit for business travelers, but not everybody carries a load of electronic devices with them. Additionally, there are a variety of business needs that guests cannot feasibly conduct on their own; nobody wants to travel with a printer or copier in tow!
Hotels seeking to attract a more steady stream of business travelers should focus on creating or improving their business centers. These modest rooms and spaces may feature a couple of desks, computers, printers and other necessities for doing business on the road. By saving these guests trips to the UPS Store or Kinko’s, they’ll be more likely to choose your facilities in the future.
Flexible Check-in/Check-out Times
Many business travelers need to move between cities, airports and car rental locations at seemingly random hours. Those who’ve been on the road or in transit for long periods of time don’t want to wait hours more just to check-in: this is why flexible check-in schedules for business travelers is such a huge desire.
Likewise, check-out times for business travelers can also be challenging. Due to airport schedules, business people staying at your hotel may have to check-out just one or two hours after being billed for an additional night. Hotels that offer flexible and prorated options to business travelers in these situations will quickly earn their respect and dramatically increase their business clientele.
Those in your city for business are often on tight schedules. From grabbing a quick meal to using dry cleaning services, they don’t have a ton of time to wait around on slow hotel services. As such, focusing on improving the speed and quality of your existing services can have a meaningful impact on how many guests return in the future.
Given the sheer level of competition in the hospitality sector today, accommodating the needs of business travelers is crucial for most hotels. These five improvements are among the most-desired reforms you can make to your hotel if earning their respect and repeat business is a prime goal.