In July the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) produced their Business Traveller Sentiment Index for 2015. The result of surveying almost 4000 worldwide business travellers on their travel preferences and habits, it’s an invaluable resource for hotels that handle the business travel market.
You can – and should – download the full report, but I’ve already gone through it with a fine-tooth comb and pulled out what I think are the 5 key learnings for hoteliers…
1. WiFi is Essential
I’ve written elsewhere about how hotel WiFi is now seen not as a benefit/amenity but as a utility, as essential and non-negotiable to travellers as pillows and running water – and the report bears this out. 78% of those surveyed agreed that “Having access to WiFi is vital to my productivity when travelling”. And with business travel costs being subject to greater scrutiny than ever, your WiFi had better be free!
2. Millennials Like – and Expect – to Use New Technology
Millennial business travellers – ie those aged 18-34 and who thus grew up with computers, the internet and mobile devices – are famously early adopters of new technology and they expect to be able to use it when travelling. Over 60% of those surveyed like to use their mobile devices for finding local restaurants and attractions, managing expenses and reward points, and arranging meetings, meals and transportation. Implement the latest hotel technology in your property – mobile check-in, keyless entry, social WiFi and more – and this big and growing demographic will love to stay with you.
3. Hotel Satisfaction Levels Are Good…But Not Great
When asked how satisfied they are with the hotels they stay in when travelling on business, 72% of those surveyed responded positively. That might seem a healthy figure – it is 3/4 of the total after all – but it also indicates that 28% of business travellers are less than satisfied with their accommodation, so there is significant room for improvement. And amongst Japanese business travellers, the dissatisfaction figure rises to a much more worrying 51%!
4. Mobile Cashless Wallets are Coming
Mobile cashless wallet technology – in which credit/debit card information is stored on a mobile device – is rapidly growing in popularity, with 22% of all those surveyed (rising to 36% in South America) saying they want to use this technology when travelling. Does your hotel accept mobile cashless wallet payment?
5. Transportation is the Main Gripe
Business travellers may be generally satisfied with their hotels, but getting to them – and getting around once they’re there – is a major bugbear. Over a third – 36% – of those surveyed are dissatisfied with their flights, with 50% complaining about airport security. And around 40% are dissatisfied with their experiences when renting cars, taking taxis/limos, or using services like Uber or Lyft. The solution? Make sure stressed business travellers get a warm welcome and an easy & quick check-in process when they arrive, and help them out with transportation during their stay.
So to sum up – make sure your WiFi is up to speed (and free!); make sure you’re investing in the latest in-room and in-lobby technology; remember that business travellers are hard to please and take care of them accordingly; make their trip easier outside the hotel as well as inside; and make sure you start accepting mobile payment before your competitors do!
Need help getting up to speed with the latest technology for your property? Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help!