Outstanding service

When a hotel is better than an office

The increase in business trips means that the market has to offer more varied structures, as well as services and products that are customised to this sector.

text: Valentina Pinton  //  photography: istock

The trend: working in a hotel. Is a business trip a waste of time in terms of the actual work carried out? Not at all. 35% of employees are more productive on their trips than they are at their desk. This is confirmed by the Chefsache Business Travel 2018 survey carried out by the German Tourism Association (DRV). But there’s more – business trips are on the rise. For 2018, it is expected that there will be an increase of 6.1% in the money spent on business trips, more than the figure predicted for 2017 (+5.1%). This trend is also confirmed by a recent survey based on 40% of the respondents travelling abroad for business last year, and 36% travelling within their own country.

As a result, the future of business trips is more than rosy, and this is translating into excellent economic growth for the people working in this sector. The question is, however, how to capitalise on this growing demand. We try to determine what managers and businesspeople want during a business trip, and what the latest market trends are.

Key issue: to provide services that appeal to business travellers

According to the survey mentioned above, 60% of those interviewed agreed that it is fundamentally important to have accommodation options available that meet their particular requirements. At the top of the wish list for a business trip is a comfortable bed and a powerful WiFi signal (52% for both), a good breakfast (38%) and a free transfer / shuttle bus service (27%). The place of location is also important: the priorities for people who travel for work are in fact ease of access to the meeting venue (47%) and proximity to the city centre (29%).

A conference room with an abundance of light and state-of-the-art technology is a definite plus for many business travellers when choosing a hotel room
A super view
A conference room with an abundance of light and state-of-the-art technology is a definite plus for many business travellers when choosing a hotel room
Free Wi-Fi access is now virtually standard. But if the internet connection is fast to boot, hoteliers really do score highly with their business customers
Fast internet
Free Wi-Fi access is now virtually standard. But if the internet connection is fast to boot, hoteliers really do score highly with their business customers
A conference room with an abundance of light and state-of-the-art technology is a definite plus for many business travellers when it comes to choosing a hotel room
A super view
A conference room with an abundance of light and state-of-the-art technology is a definite plus for many business travellers when it comes to choosing a hotel room

As well as must-haves, there are like-to-haves too

The survey also reveals that almost half (48%) of international business travellers would extend their stay to visit the destination, using the opportunity to discover new places and cultures and to have new experiences. This is why it is important to try and improve the amenities available and to offer more personalisation for business trips, such as opportunities for sport and well-being, a menu that offers balanced nutrition, advice and ad hoc itineraries to enable business guests to discover the city. Bearing in mind the fact that the smallest hotels offer the greatest personal feel, this is why business travellers often prefer them to large, more well-known chains.

Curating and targeting your own portfolio

A survey promoted by Wanup, a hotel loyalty scheme that brings together independent hotels and renowned hotel chains, has revealed that Italian business travellers choose the hotel and make the booking themselves in 46.5% of cases, attaching considerable importance to the hotel’s online reviews, photos and ratings. As the number of business trips grows, the type of people travelling is also becoming more varied. However, if you want to become a point of reference for this tourism target, you need to offer a business package that provides services such as free Internet use, a business point with high-speed Internet, early breakfast, lockers for computers at reception, universal chargers for all types of mobile phone, major daily newspapers available in communal areas, fax machine, printer and photocopying facilities via reception, fast check out and so on.

What about a solution ... by the hour?

The days when hotel rooms that were rented by the hour were considered disreputable are gone. There are chains that offer the option to rent rooms for brief periods (from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the day, with reductions of up to 75%). These rooms then become comfortable offices and calm spaces in which to work. A business that has grown from the fact that there are easily two and a half billion hotel rooms not being used around the world, and in Europe alone that translates into Euro 40 billion in lost revenue from rooms that are never used. So why not offer this additional option within your organisation too?

Checklist

The ranking of the services preferred by businesspeople

Thanks to Secretary.it, the provider of HRS hotel solutions, we have analysed the habits of visiting businesspeople when it comes to reserving hotels

Male business travellers prefer:

  • Last-minute cancellation and free WiFi
  • Late and fast check in and check out
  • Availability of a restaurant in the hotel
  • Early breakfast, spa and gym, cable TV

Female business travellers prefer:

  • Last-minute cancellation and free WiFi
  • Availability of a spa, gym and restaurant
  • Late and fast check in and check out
  • Early breakfast and cable TV

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