By Lachlan Nicolson |
The needs of todays business travellers is vastly changing. As global business travel spend increases to $310 billion USD in 2015, so do the demands and expectations of those travellers.
There’s a reason why they’re called the ‘road warriors’ - because they are continually facing flight delays, bad web connections and foggy jet lag syndromes. Hotels are recognising this and are adapting new facilities and ammenities to where research is pointing out gaps in business travel comfort and wellbeing.
The evolving desires of the business man (or woman) are focusing around autonomy, productivity and health. Travellers are craving a new level of personalisation, comfort and amenities to help them on their journey and be more productive and effective.
Hotels are at a critical investment season of adding new features that will entice, surprise and delight travellers to retain frequency and loyalty. Here are three trends in the behaviours of business travellers that hotels are adapting for:
1. Time and technology is valuable
Personalised services and greater autonomy is the key to productivity for the business traveller. Hotels are rebranding their business rooms to offer the full office features they could experience back home with ergonomic desks, chairs and complimentary office supplies.
Research shows the business traveller will usually end up working in their room two or three times a day. Rooms need to be as efficient as the office. Proper lighting and room temperature control is the new level of expectation.
“Business Travellers are very comfortable with digital devices – 95% own a smartphone, 64% own a tablet and on any given trip, some bring as many as four devices.”
Since travellers are used to tapping into their phones and devices for services at home, they are expecting the same technology to be applied in service at hotels too. The Four Seasons Hotel recognised the need for time saving measures with technology to rally a car or cab or request something from room service. Using an internal software app, guests can now order spa reservations, cars, meals and laundry all from their devices.
Mark Holyhead, SVP of Egencia and frequent business traveller said “My expectation as a consumer has changed very rapidly.”
Hilton and Virgin have both created app technology that allows users to request services and amenities at any time of the day. Some hotels have even developed technology that texts travellers on entry and allows them to simply reply with any requests, eliminating the need for an app altogether.
2. Health is predominent
For the modern business traveller the focus of personal health and wellness is growing. Squeezing in a quick workout before the next meeting or choosing a well balanced meal instead of bacon is becoming of greater value in choice. Millennials are also growing up into the business travel industry with new travel habits shaping and stretching the industry like never before.
Health is not only important for those ‘down time’ moment between keynotes and meetings, it’s crucial for travellers to shake off jet lag and revitalise to be at peak of productivity. Hotels are recognising that health amenities expectations are rising such as more dietary options available, longer spa opening hours and 24/7 gyms.
Westin Hotels has become a leader in providing sneakers and fitness equipment in partnership with New Balance to hotel guests. Fairmont properties followed by offering Reebook sneakers and clothing. Other hotels are now offering on-loan iPods and complimentary massages to help revitalise energy.
Research also shows that many business travellers are arriving at unusual late hours of the night or morning and require 24/7 access to facilities. This raises expectations for quality sleeping and improved choices in food for healthier diets. A good nights rest is one of the keys to a road warriors productivity.
3. B-Leisure is growing
With remote work becoming more common and hotels offering more rewarding loyalty programs, business travellers are adding more leisure buffer to their trips. This trend has become known as ‘BLeisure' travellers, who want to take some time out to explore their surroundings.
Many executives are using their extended time away to catch up with local friends or taking some time to relax after a business venture. Major hotels such as the Hilton Group are offering special rates to loyalty members to extend their stay and enjoy the extra leisure services and amenities of the hotel.
Millennials in business are leading the way in this trend with more expectation than ever for employers to offer a work life balance.
Millennials also have more time to spare than a seasoned business traveller with a family back home, and studies show millennials are spending more money that ever on valuable leisure experiences.
Hilton HHonours sponsored a survey conducted by American Express which asked business travellers about their leisure activities. More than one in three indicated adding leisure to their business trip nearly every trip.
By Lachlan Nicolson |
You’ve settled in, had a shower and relaxing in your hotel room… The phone rings. You think ‘yeah, it must be reception, surely?’, and you pick up the phone. It’s a strange voice, someone claiming to be from the front desk explaining how your credit card number was incorrect…They proceed to ask you to validate your card number...
This is the beginning of how many phone scams have started in hotel rooms. Since 2008 across the US and Europe there have been a rising number of cases around ‘front desk’ call scams.
Quite simply, this scam revolves around a situation where a criminal posing as the front desk service calls your room and has obtained two pieces of information about you: your name and your room number.
In most cases, those two pieces of simple information becomes enough for the customer to believe the authenticity of the caller. The ‘front desk’ staff will then make a case similar to situations such as “our computer system is down and we lost your credit card number” or “we realised your credit card was incorrect could you verify it again”.
These phone call scams have sadly fooled many travellers so far into verifying their credit card numbers and even CCV codes to criminals. The Consumer Affairs department in the USA has put the advice to travellers that if they receive a call they should simply remember this rule:
The "Don’t call me: I’ll call you" rule.
If you feel something suspicious when receiving a phone call in your hotel, simply tell them you will call back in a moment, write the phone number down if possible, then call reception back from your phone. It’s a good idea to try to get the name of the person calling to help prove validity, especially if the call turns out to be a scam when reception verifies it was not them calling you.
Hotels are increasingly providing more security measures to prevent malicious outside calls to hotel rooms. Our recommendation at World Travel Professionals is to always make the effort to see your hotel reception in person and never share credit card details over the phone.
The following below is a quote from a user online (K Cuplet) who posted this testimony of their experience:
"I was in Las Vegas this past weekend and stayed at a no-name hotel slightly off the strip to save some cash. It had good reviews and was basic, but was clean and got the job done.
Sunday morning at 10:30 my hotel phone rings and it's the manager letting me know their computer system is down at the moment. Check out is at 11am so we were already packing and getting ready to leave despite our hangovers.
He let's me know that because the system is down they're a few hours behind on recovering data. He confirmed my room number and offered me an extended checkout (which sounded great from the hangover) and also offered to comp our least expensive night's stay for the inconvenience.
He mentioned there were 30+ people in the checkout line and offered to check me out via the phone and said I could leave my keys as I left. He asked me to confirm my credit card number and I got a little hesitant and said I would feel more comfortable providing that in person.
He got a little defensive and reiterated who he was and why he was trying to save time. I still declined and went down to the front desk. Turns out, it was a scam and they were randomly dialing hotel rooms to get CC numbers and personal info.
They were super accommodating with their offer and because my hotel phone didn't have a caller ID, it was very convincing. Stay safe out there and never be afraid to say no until you know who you're sharing you're information with!"
Have you ever experienced a travel scam?
Comment below or share your experience with us on twitter tag us @worldtravelpro #travelchat
Article by Lachlan Nicolson | t: @lockyn
Content crafter & marketing coordinator at World Travel Professionals.
By Lachlan Nicolson |
Executive directors of World Travel Professionals Michael and Lisa have buckled into a sponsored sports car to drive funds for the Ronald McDonald House in this years Audi Red Boot Rally.
The event started yesterday morning the 23rd of September and continues until the 25th. The three day route started in the heart of the Gold Coast in Queensland and takes a scenic adventure down into northern New South Wales.
World Travel Professionals has partnered with Russell Ingall and our incredible sponsors to raise money for seriously ill children through the initiative. To follow the drive visit our Instagram Account
To donate directly to this cause you can do so by clicking here
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