One of the biggest revenue segments for hotels is business travelers, with approximately 35% of revenue generated from corporate guests according to a recent industry research by
It's important to understand that despite the decreasing number of business travelers, due to the advancement of communications technology, their concerns need to be addressed. Many hotels now offer better services to cater the needs of corporate guests to ensure great experience during their stays in hopes of return business. When a business traveler is away on business there are five important points to consider.
1. Free Wi-Fi or high-speed Internet Access
We all know that business travelers have ranked ‘having good and free high-speed internet access” as the number 1 amenity that they look for when selecting a hotel. Imagine you checked into a hotel in a foreign city and you cannot access the internet for work? Wasn’t the whole purpose of that trip is to ensure all business related activities are done in an easy and efficient manner?
According to Conde Nast Traveler, between 64 and 69 percent of the business travelers book a room directly with the hotel if they have free or high-speed internet, so you can imagine revenue that could be recovered.
2. Provide Social & Networking facilities
One very important aspect of a business is networking with people. Enhance their stay by arranging a social networking activity e.g. happy hour drinks and canapes at your hotel lounge area for your corporate guests. In addition look for local companies that can conduct industry events with leading guest speakers to make the networking more meaningful for your corporate guests.
Another example is to use a social business networking tool like Let's Lunch. The app is a personal assistant that lines up people for lunch or coffee that they should know. It helps people to connect in the same industry or company. For the connection to work your guests needs to have a Linkedin profile and connect their information on the app. Lets Lunch have a website sign up or you could collect your corporate guest's information upon check-in and offer your F&B facilities for them to socially connect.
When your unique business networking activities become successful, corporate guests will start to share on social media or inform their work colleagues or business counterparts of their unexpected experience at your hotel and lead to more business travelers taking notice.
3. Deploy technologies that support business activities
Hotels rely on business activities such as MICE, conferences and wedding exhibitions to generate a large portion of their revenue. A GBTA Foundation study revealed that a majority of planners (57%) use events, meeting management technology and nearly all (96%) find advantages when using these technologies.
Furthermore, most corporate guests are tech-savvy and would prefer to use tablets, projectors and WiFi enabled printers for their business. Also having a meeting app that assists in organizing meetings, reservations and logistics can be both a cost-saver and a great resource for guests.
4. Offer Mobile wallet payments for convenience
A good service to provide corporate guests is mobile wallets that are linked to a corporate credit card. According to American Express, only 14% of travelers use such a system of mobile payments but 20% of business travelers from Hong Kong prefer mobile wallets tied to corporate cards rather than other payment forms. This form of payment is also a preferred choice by 19% of business travelers to Mexico and 17% of Generation X’s in mid sized companies.
5. Save expenses by offering tools to share documents electronically
Saving expenses can be one of the main concerns for companies, so being able to assist your guests with finding cost savings will put you ahead of the curve. This is particularly true for US travelers, where 18% of travel expenses are used on ancillary charges, with a figure between 10% - 14% for the rest of the world. Consider offering a technology service that will allow corporate guests to send signed documents electronically without having to print and mail them to their clients. Such a start-up company PandaDoc does that electronically by offering a document platform for businesses. It's a wonder why both HubSpot and Microsoft have invested an undisclosed amount of $15 million.
Shifting focus in serving corporate guests.
Business travelers' demands change with the influence of consumer and mobile technology. Try to stay ahead of your competitors by finding unique services that will accommodate the business traveler and result in more corporate guests staying at your hotel.