How to Give Your Hotel an Edge in the Competition for Business Travelers
Ah, the exciting world of business travel! While we're seeing a resurgence in people traveling for in-person conferences and meetings, we also know that a new segment is emerging. We're talking about the remote worker, the person who is free to work from anywhere with a wifi connection. So how can you meet the needs of both the traditional business traveler and the new permanent remote employee?
If you're a boutique hotel owner or innkeeper, attracting business travelers is key to filling your rooms and achieving profitability. But with the rise of the remote worker, you may be wondering what business travelers want in a hotel today.
Here are some tips on how to attract more business travelers to your boutique property:
Your Rooms + Amenities
First and foremost, offer free high-speed wifi! This is an absolute must for business travelers, who need to be able to stay connected while on the road. And love them or hate them, Zoom meetings aren't going anywhere, so make sure you have the bandwidth to support potentially lengthy video calls.
Make sure your rooms are comfortable and equipped with everything needed to get work done. This includes desks, ergonomic chairs, good lighting, and easily accessible outlets for all types of devices.
Bonus tip: If you can swing it, have your workstation set up in a spot that makes it easy to hold a video call. People will rearrange the furniture if they'll be backlit by a window or if their unmade bed is in view.
Include amenities like a full-length mirror, a high-quality hairdryer, and iron or steamer. These may not get used frequently by most guests, but your business travelers will appreciate them.
Bonus tip: Can you provide some sort of laundry service? Whether you offer on-site facilities or can easily help arrange for a local laundromat or dry cleaner pick-up and delivery, make sure to let people know.
Provide complimentary coffee and tea. Whether you include a DIY station within each guest room or you make it easily accessible in a common area, having high-quality refreshments can go a long way. In addition to coffee and tea, we'd suggest having a water cooler and ice.
Have a stash of extension cords, HDMI cables, common device chargers, lower-priced headphones/earbuds available for sale/to borrow.
Your Surrounding Area
Promote your location as a work-friendly destination. Ask yourself these questions:
Is your hotel near good coffee shops and coworking spaces?
Are you near popular convention and conference spaces?
Do you have easy access to transportation (taxi, Uber/Lyft, public transportation), proximity to airport/train station, etc.
Do you offer concierge services such as making dinner reservations or booking tickets to shows and other entertainment that could be helpful to someone looking to treat a new client?
Be sure to highlight these amenities on your website and in your marketing materials. And make it easy for guests to take advantage of them once they're on site. No one should feel awkward about actually trying to use these services!
Ease of Booking + Communication
Make it easy for guests to reserve a room and get work done while they're staying with you. Don’t lose potential guests during the booking process. Once they’re on your site, can they book directly through it? Is it clear how to check availability and find your rates and policies? You also need to offer confirmed reservations - not reservation requests. No one wants to wait around for 24+ hours to find out if they have to keep looking.
You might also want to consider offering availability through third-party OTAs, like Booking.com, Expedia, and Airbnb. For busy business travelers that aren’t familiar with you are, these sites might be the go-to and you don’t want to miss out on a key marketing opportunity. While it hurts to pay commission, you are also getting your property in front of thousands of people that would likely never make it to your website otherwise.
Use text messaging and email for easy guest communication before and during the stay. It’s important to meet your guests where they are, which is often on their phone. Having confirmations, pre-arrival, and post-stay details sent via text and email make it much more likely your guests won’t miss anything. And offering text messaging during their stay is convenient for both your team and your guests.
Consider offering a rate designed for solo travelers. Factor in the savings you’ll see from having one person in a room versus the typical two and see if you can make a discount work. Or put together a package especially for business travelers that includes things like coffee to-go, an Uber gift card for local transportation to and from a coworking space, or flexible check-in/check-out.
Marketing Your Property to Business Travelers
Always ask guests for a review upon check-out. We suggest asking in person if possible, plus including a request with a link in any post-stay communication. Make sure to note any reviews you receive from guests that traveled for business so you can highlight them in your marketing.
If you have a blog (and you should), include content that highlights business travel and your property’s unique amenities. Make sure to share these articles with your audience via email and social media.
Reach out to local CVB and meeting groups to promote your property as business-travel friendly so they can confidently recommend your business as a great fit. And think about local businesses that are likely to have remote employees that need to travel to the area. Let them know you’ve thought of everything and are happy to host their staff.
Ready to Start Hosting More Business Travelers?
So what do business travelers want in a hotel? It might seem like a lot to take in, but many of these suggestions are going to benefit all of your guests! Let's summarize:
They want ease of booking and communication, as well as amenities that will make their stay easier and more productive. Make sure your website is easy to navigate, and offer reservations through third-party OTAs. Provide clear information about your rates and policies, as well as what services you offer. Use text messaging and email to communicate before and during the stay, and consider offering a package designed specifically for business travelers. Finally, make sure to ask guests for reviews upon check-out.
By following these tips, you can attract more business travelers and boost your bottom line.
We look forward to helping you discover new ways to grow your business!
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