Business travel is growing. As a result, hotels and others in the travel industry are looking to attract more business travellers, but in order to do so effectively, you need to know what those travellers are looking for. In this article, you will find out more about the latest trends that influence modern business travel decisions.
- What is Business Travel?
- Business Travel is Growing
- 8 of the Latest Business Travel Trends
- List of Business Travel Agents to Attract More Business Travellers
- Tips to Attract More Business Travellers to Your Hotel
- More Tips Regarding Business Travel
What is Business Travel?
Business travel, otherwise known as corporate travel, is a term used to describe travel that is carried out on behalf of a business, or for the purposes of doing business with someone else. The term applies regardless of how frequent the travel is, or how far away from the day-to-day workplace it takes the traveller(s).
Some examples of common types of business travel include travelling to a different branch of the same company, travelling to a different location to meet suppliers or business partners, or travelling for a conference or business event. By most definitions, it involves travel away from the workplace that requires at least one overnight stay.
This business travel market is receiving an increased focus from many in the travel industry, partly business travellers often spend more money on their travels, especially when their costs are covered by their employer. However, more importantly, business travel is growing, thanks to factors like globalisation and the availability of flights.
Research compiled by Finances Online helps to highlight the extent of growth. For example, a study from the Global Business Travel Association shows that between 2016 and 2018, global business travel expenditure grew by more than five percent. Meanwhile, a Deloitte analysis estimates further growth upcoming years.
Business travel growth is especially appealing for hotels. After all, according to Certify, businesses spend 13 percent of their entire business travel budget on accommodation. Additionally, a further 21 percent is spent on meals, and hotels may be able to secure some of this through hotel restaurants and room service options.
The growth of business travel and the increase in business travellers requires a response from the hotel industry. Hotels need to communicate with business travellers in different ways than they do with pure leisure travellers, appeal to them with different services and give careful consideration to what they need, want and expect.
8 of the Latest Business Travel Trends
For hotel owners and others in the travel industry who are interested in capitalising on the growth of business travel, it is important to keep up with the latest developments. Below, you will find out more about eight of the latest business travel trends, and how they are disrupting the industry as a whole.
1. Bleisure Travel
Bleisure travel refers to travel that combines both business and leisure elements. It is often primarily motivated by business, but the business traveller finds time on their trip to engage in leisure activities, or extends the duration of their business trip, in order to see the sights and participate in leisure activities.
Crucially, research shows that it is growing. Indeed, according to Expedia, more than 40 percent of trips are extended for leisure purposes and this represents a key demographic for hotels to appeal to.
This significant business traveller demographic can potentially be convinced to extend their stay in your hotel with the right offering. Aside from granting easy access to nearby attractions, hotels need to think about the services and amenities they can provide, so that business travellers have opportunities to enjoy themselves.
According to a study from SAP Concur, Millennials are the generation that takes the most bleisure trips, accounting for 38 percent of them in total. However, other generations are not far behind, with both Generation X and Baby Boomers accounting for 31 percent of bleisure trips each, highlighting its growing popularity across the board.
The airline industry has been extremely effective at capitalising on business travellers’ need for personalisation, realising that these travellers can become frequent, loyal and high-value customers if they are treated as individuals. This desire for personalisation has also extended to other areas of the travel industry, including hotels.
In truth, the personalisation options hotels can offer are almost endless, especially given business travellers’ tendency to travel to the same places frequently. This allows hotels to use data from past trips to make recommendations, predictions or adjustments, based on an individual’s habits, the services they have used, their payment methods, etc.
Find more detailed information and examples about “Personalisation marketing” in the travel industry in the article “5 Ways Personalisation Marketing is Used in the Travel Industry”.
3. The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things refers to devices, appliances and other ‘things’ that are able to send and receive data, due to internet connectivity. IoT devices are becoming more common in households, with examples including smart energy meters, smart televisions and smart speakers, and business travellers expect the same from hotels.
Hotel guests want personal control and a seamless experience and IoT devices that allow them to remotely control heating, or use voice commands to request information, are two possible examples of this. Additionally, hotels can stand out by offering seamless check-ins, automatic payments, and rooms that can be unlocked via a smartphone.
Find more information and examples about the ‘Internet of Things’ in hotels in the article “Smart Hotel: What Are the Benefits for Hotel Owners and Guests?”.
4. Sharing Economy
The sharing economy continues to disrupt the entire travel industry, but can hold particular appeal for a business traveller, due to the ability to save money and share experiences with people travelling in similar circumstances. Moreover, companies are increasingly concerned about their business travel being environmentally friendly.
Business travellers are taking advantage of the sharing economy in a number of different ways, including ride-sharing, which can reduce transport costs, and home sharing, which can offer both financial and social benefits, when compared to more traditional options. Hotels are responding to this, offering room share options and ride-share access.
5. Customer Experience
A huge part of travel management involves focusing on the customer experience. This is important for all businesses connected to the travel industry, from airlines and car rental companies, to hotels and restaurants, because the customer experience has arguably become an even more important competitive differentiator than product or price.
Various statistics compiled by Chameleon Collective emphasise this, with 86 percent of customers willing to pay more for a better customer experience and 84 percent of companies that focus on customer experience report a revenue increase. Good customer service can also enhance your reputation, attracting even more business travellers.
6. Virtual Reality
Finally, virtual reality technology has become mainstream in recent years and travel customers expect it to disrupt the travel industry far more in the near future. In fact, based on research from the DCC Forum, 79 percent of business travellers expect virtual reality previews will be the new normal within 10 years.
A business traveller can use virtual reality previews on your hotel website, or on other hotel booking platforms, in order to get a clear idea of what your hotel looks and feels like. VR tours can also be ideal for showcasing your facilities, such as meeting or conference rooms, so travellers have an idea of the layout and size.
Yo can find more information and examples about virtual reality within the travel industry in the article “Benefits of Virtual Reality Marketing for The Travel Industry”.
7. Healthy Options
While the idea of ‘bleisure’ is growing, it is also important to understand that many business travellers are required to travel frequently and this means they will want to maintain some element of their normal routine, rather than seeing trips as an excuse to indulge. For this reason, healthy options need to be on offer.
Those in the hotel industry can cater for business travel guests who want to look after their own health in a number of ways, from providing healthy snacks in hotel rooms and healthy meals in hotel restaurants, through to offering gym or outdoor sports facilities and opportunities to de-stress, such as massage services.
8. Workspaces With Fast and Reliable Internet
With the growth of business travel, many hotel guests are no longer primarily motivated by the services, amenities and facilities in their hotel room. Instead, a typical business traveller also wants to know that the workspaces they will have access to in the hotel will offer a fast and reliable internet connection.
Hotels can capitalise on this by renting our workspaces, or by using these workspaces to attract corporate travellers in the first place. The reliability of the internet access you can provide is critical, as business travellers are likely to need to access their company intranet, download, upload or send files, and use online communication tools.
List of Business Travel Agents to Attract More Business Travellers
Business travel companies offer a unique opportunity for travel companies, like hotels, airlines or car rentals to attract a greater number of business travellers. Hotel owners can for example achieve this by connecting with the main global distribution systems and forming close and mutually beneficial relationships with specific travel management companies.
In the article “Corporate Travel Agents for Hotels to Gain More Business Travellers” you will learn more about the ways travel management companies can help hotels and find eight of the best corporate travel agents.
Business travellers hold special appeal for many hotel owners, because they offer opportunities to attract return custom and their travel habits are less seasonal than with leisure guests. Additionally, when you manage to attract corporate travellers, you open up possibilities to make money from meeting rooms and other facilities or services.
In the article “Tips to Attract More Corporate Travellers to Your Hotel”, you will find out more about the benefits of generating business from corporate travellers, along with seven specific tips for attracting them to your hotel.
The business travel market is becoming increasingly lucrative for those in the hotel industry who are able to capitalise on it. The eight business travel trends listed in this article provide a solid foundation for appealing to business travellers.
More Tips Regarding Business Travel
The corporate travel market is receiving an increased focus from many in the travel industry, partly business travellers often spend more money on their travels, especially when their costs are covered by their employer. However, more importantly, business travel is growing, thanks to factors like globalisation and the availability of flights. In the following articles you find more information about the corporate travel market:
- What You Need to Know About Corporate Travel Management
- How to Select a Good Business Travel Management Company?
- Reasons Why Companies Should Use a Business Travel Agency
- Global Distribution System (GDS): What Are the Benefits for Hotels?