When it comes to travel, it is always imperative to understand what it is that customers are looking for and what the latest hotel market trends are. It is especially important when it comes to business travellers as they tend to fly and stay in hotels more often than others due to particular aspects of their working lives. A brand new survey on business travellers provides some rather interesting data within this field. The research was conducted by Newlio, a market research company, who surveyed 529 business travellers on what their needs and expectations where when it came to travelling. It was perhaps unsurprising that business travellers deem their technological needs to be rather high.
There have been many technological updates made within the travel industry in recent years, with various airlines offering WiFi on board and some allowing devices such as smartphones and tablets to be used as long as the airplane mode is switched on. Such updates are clearly beneficial to business travellers as it means they can continue to work on the go. However, while the survey found that these needs were often being met, it seemed as though they can also be underestimated and misunderstood.
Ensuring that this need is met is vital for hotels to take note of, especially as 55 per cent of those surveyed ranked the presence of free WiFi in a hotel as being their number one concern when looking at properties in which to stay. This is only slightly behind the importance of the quality of suite, which came in at 61 per cent – again highlighting the growing trend in technological access within travel.
The survey also found that while more hotels are offering free WiFi to customers, the business centres within the establishments and the common areas which are available for business travellers to work from aren’t being used to their full capability, as many prefer to work from the comfort of their own room.
The survey showed that only ten per cent actually liked to use the business centres, while a mere four per cent used the lobby, with 84 per cent staying in their room. This is perhaps a little unsurprising given the privacy and lack of distraction that is available working alone.When it came to technology, the internet access available wasn’t the only key theme that the survey unravelled. It seems that the ease in which customers can make their reservations through the use of technology was also a very important factor, with 76 per cent making their bookings online.
The fact that business travellers often travel more is perhaps a large part of this statistic, and it would especially make sense as online bookings can be so much easier for those who are constantly on the go. The majority of airlines and hotel providers also have mobile phone apps, meaning that making a reservation can be done at any time, anywhere, and it also offers ease when having to provide booking details on arrival of the hotel as you simply have to open up the app.
It also means that you don’t have to worry about having various documentation and pieces of paper with you.Smartphone apps aren’t just used for booking a reservation either, as 60 per cent of those surveyed said that they used either their phone or a tablet to check-in. Again, the easiness of doing this makes it unsurprising that many are starting to use the feature, and various airlines actually offer your boarding card on your device, so you don’t have to worry about carrying around documents or having to pay a fine for not printing off your boarding card, which some airlines do actually enforce.
Interestingly enough, it seems that hotels are really starting to pick up on how much customers appreciate using their own devices, with Starwood actually allowing guests to not only check in, but to use their smartphone app to get their room number and to use it as a key! However, while this is undoubtedly impressive, it does mean that should your battery life die on your smartphone, you will have to go and get a proper key.
Clearly convenience is crucial when it comes to business travel trends and 59 per cent surveyed stated that they relied on express check in and check out. Aside from using technology for work purposes, business travellers also seem to understand the importance of using a hotel room to relax and wind down following a long journey or a hard day at work. Tourism-review.com has higlighted some of the key data that was found via a survey conducted by Apart Hotel, which showed that visitors tend to request an additional TV to the one found within the living room of their business apartments.
Apple TV was also very popular! Furthermore, the data showed that almost half of those surveyed would have liked their room to come with a servant and it seems as though home comforts are also extremely important as a large closet, a coffee machine and an iron were very popular items that were requested by business travellers.
However, as much as technology and extra requirements such as a coffee machine and irons are clearly very important to business travellers, Newlio’s research pointed out a very interesting statistic which highlights that the most important feature of those who they surveyed was the location. In fact, 73 per cent said that where the hotel was located was the number one priority when booking a hotel to stay in during a business trip.
This further suggests that while it is important for hotels to accommodate business needs, if the location isn’t the desired one, the chances are that business travellers won’t be looking to book it, offering some food for thought when it comes to how hotel budgets are spent.