Top 10 Things Business Travelers Want From Hotels
This article was updated in January of 2020. While business travelers still want the same things from hotels as in 2018, this post now includes new research, statistics and other information about business travelers and their hotel experiences
It’s not always easy to book your business travelers into hotels that match all their preferences. Sometimes there’s a last-minute trip, and few rooms are available. And sometimes your travelers need to visit a city right before it hosts a huge convention or the Super Bowl, and a suburban Days Inn is the best you can do. So how do you know what business travelers want from hotels in 2018?
But, when you have options, it’s rewarding to find quality accommodations that align not just with your travel policy but also your travelers’ needs. When your team members stay in hotels that make them feel comfortable, that put them at ease, and that help them rest, your travelers are able to do their best work.
Here’s a look at the top 10 things your team members are likely to desire in their on-the-road accommodations.
Location remains the top priority. Travel managers can use the primary reason for a trip to help team members book the most convenient and intuitive hotel to meet their needs. Also, proximity is great for productivity. It limits in-city travel time, which means more time to get work done.
Most booking platforms allow you to search for hotels within a certain distance of specific cities, zip codes and even landmarks. Which is to say: Finding a hotel that offers proximity is easy. So why not take that extra step?
Does your company allow team members to book their own accommodations? If so, consider holding trainings that share with travelers how to filter for location when booking hotels. Or, consider sending regular email updates that remind them how to find quality hotels close to where they want to be.
2. A Personalized Experience
This is where technology enters in. Most business travelers want to stay at hotels where they can use an app to check in and check out — and hotels brands are responding to that desire. The major hotel brands now offer technology and automation that streamlines the guest experience from start to finish. These new technologies aren’t just appreciated, they are now expected by most business travelers.
New technology and automation can help at booking, too. No matter who does the actual booking (a travel agent, a travel manager or a team member) preset preferences tied to a loyalty number can ensure that travelers have the type of experience they want.
3. Free (and Fast) Wi-Fi
In 2018, hotels that don’t provide free Wi-Fi should not be considered. This is an absolute must. And the faster the Wi-Fi the better.
Make sure you’re leveraging the power of loyalty programs and status to get your travelers the fastest Wi-Fi possible. Some chains will offer a lower speed Internet connection for free and a faster connection available for an upcharge or to guests with a certain status.
When you use a corporate travel agency, make sure your representatives can negotiate status for your travelers. This helps team members feel more at home while traveling, and it can also help save money on Internet upcharges and other expenses.
4. Plenty of Power Outlets
Business travelers have so much to plug in and power up these days. They might roll into a hotel room needing outlets for a cell phone, a tablet, a computer and more. And then, when it comes time to press a shirt for the next day, there needs to be an outlet left over for the iron.
For whatever reason, many hotels still offer too few power outlets. When possible, look for hotels that are newer or that have been recently renovated. New and updated hotels are more likely to offer the power outlets that business travelers love.
5. Accessible Meeting Rooms
Business travel is often essential to securing new clients, pitching ideas to existing clients and having important conversations that simply can’t be conducted over the phone. That’s why business travelers prefer hotels that offer accessible conference rooms and meeting spaces.
Conference rooms and meeting spaces give team members a chance to have dress rehearsals before making big pitches. Having the chance to run through a presentation or pitch beforehand can be the difference between winning or losing out on new business. And you don’t want to hold these dress rehearsals and dry runs in a cramped hotel room. As an added bonus: It’s always nice when a hotel offers AV equipment such as projectors and screens where guests can quickly and easily plug in their laptops.
6. Fast Services
No matter what type of services a business traveler needs, they should be fast and effective. Room service should arrive within 30 minutes. Dry-cleaning and shoeshine services should be available overnight. Business travelers are often working on short timeframes, flying into a city one day and flying out the next. There’s no time to waste when it comes to getting a meal or getting an outfit ready for the next day.
7. Healthy Hotel Dining Options
One of the greatest challenges with life on the road is staying healthy. Airports are packed with tempting fast food options, and business dinners often include cocktails and red meat.
So, look for hotels that provide healthy dining options — and preferably via room service. Most business travelers love to have healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner options to help balance out what they’re eating in airports and with clients or colleagues.
8. Easy Fitness Opportunities
It’s not enough to just have a fitness center. Business travelers want that fitness center to be spacious, easy to find and well maintained.
It’s frustrating when a fitness center is so small that a guest has to wait to use a certain machine. It’s frustrating when a fitness center is so well hidden that a guest gives up looking at all. And it’s frustrating when a guest steps onto a treadmill only to find that the belt is too loose to use or that the built-in television shows static only.
When a fitness center frustrates a guest, he or she is unlikely to use it at all.
9. A Setting That Promotes Productivity and Rest
There are one of two main goals when a business traveler is at his or her hotel. They either need to be: 1) getting things done, or 2) getting rest. So look for hotels that promote both.
A productive hotel includes a comfortable, well-lit desk with plenty of power outlets. It also offers the aforementioned fast Wi-Fi and a business center where a guest can print documents or take care of other things — around the clock.
A restful hotel is one that is quiet and comfortable. An individual traveler is going to be more comfortable in a king-size bed than a queen, and he or she is going to be more comfortable on quality bedding.
10. Somewhere to Relax and Unwind
The best hotels offer inviting public spaces where guests can enjoy a drink, enjoy live music or watch the sunset. Of course, not every hotel is going to have a resort-style patio or in-pool bar. But it’s nice to have some sort of common space where guests can spend time away from their rooms. Yes, rooms should be places of productivity and rest, but too much time spent in a hotel room can feel more like you’re hibernating in a cave.
How Companies are Responding to Traveler Desires
How are companies responding to what travelers want? According to new research published in October 2019, more and more brands are including questions in RFPs that directly address many of the 10 things listed above. They are also finding other ways to gauge if certain hotels offer what modern business travelers want.
According to this new survey:
- 50% of buyers are now looking at consumer review websites and other sources to get information on the travel experience when using certain hotel providers.
- 2 in 3 buyers are discussing amenities a “moderate amount” or “a lot” when talking to sales teams at hotels. High-speed Internet (97%), data security (84%), on-location fitness centers (80%) and loyalty programs (55%) are the leading amenities that are important to buyers.
The vast majority (85%) of buyers are interested in contracting with traditional hotels, while smaller majorities are interested in contracts with lifestyle brands (65%) and boutique hotels (58%).
Find the Best Hotels with JTB Business Travel
At JTB Business Travel, we know how important it is for you to find affordable hotel options that still deliver the restful and productive experience your travelers want. That’s why we offer a series of tools, resources and services that are designed to accomplish just that. Behind everything we do and every recommendation we make is a common sense approach to business trave
Contact us today to learn more about what our common sense approach can do for your company and its travelers.