By Max Braz on August 26, 2015 at 8:30 AM
No matter where your hotel is, business travelers represent a great opportunity. They have more disposable income than the average person on vacation, make good repeat visitors, and can activate their entire network in support of your property. Some business travelers have so much clout, they can see to it your hotel is a partner of choice whenever colleagues need to visit your area. Each time you interact with a business traveler, it could mean thousands of dollars in additional visits over time!
That said, many independent hotel owners don’t know all they could about business-class guests. Corporate travelers can seem mysterious. They appear year-round instead of seasonally, and they can have very different tastes compared to holiday guests.
Let’s take a closer look at this distinctive group of travelers.
What Separates Business Travelers from the Rest?
First and foremost, business travelers are connected to their job 24/7 while traveling. They need to justify all expenses in terms of their business trip, so reliable Internet connectivity and clear, consistent invoicing are both vital.
Of course, that’s only the beginning:
[fa icon="bar-chart-o"] Business travelers tend to be tech-savvy “power buyers” who aren’t afraid to book trips online. They will judge you by your online presence, so it must be fresh and responsive.
[fa icon="bar-chart-o"] The location is critical for business travelers. Convention centers and other venues need to be accessible, so be sure you can advise them on getting around!
[fa icon="bar-chart-o"] As a whole, business travelers are in the top 20% in hours worked annually. They tend to be “rising stars” or established executives in an organization.
[fa icon="bar-chart-o"] A significant fraction of business travelers say they work more while traveling than at the office – often because of crucial projects or negotiations they're attending to.
How Can You Make Your Site More Appealing to Business Travelers?
Although many business travelers have the funds to retain travel agents, they often like to plan trips themselves. They believe they can find the best deals if they roll up their sleeves and dig in!
More than half of business travelers start planning their trips by visiting a popular search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. You can also increase your visibility to this market by having a strong social presence, especially on LinkedIn.
Business travelers like to make informed decisions. How can they do it from miles away?
Believe it or not, the answer is online video. Business travelers are about 20% more likely than vacationers to compare online travel videos before booking a trip (source: Leonardo reports). Simply by having a virtual property tour on YouTube, you make a visit much more likely.
Building the Business Travel Experience on Your Property
Your job doesn’t end with a compelling online presentation, of course. You should also make sure your amenities are attuned with the needs of business travelers. It may take a while to perfect your approach, but there are some great places to start:
[fa icon="check"] Upselling is easy with business travelers. Services like daily housekeeping are popular. At apartments, personal staff members like chefs and shoppers are appreciated.
[fa icon="check"] Business travelers often want to explore your location more in the future, so teaming up with a respected travel agent can help you get a portion of their future leisure travel.
[fa icon="check"] “Team building” activities can make a destination attractive and help lock in a corporate visit in the future. Corporate event firms are often glad to partner with hoteliers.
[fa icon="check"] Loyalty programs that are specifically for frequent travelers is also a good way to attract business travelers.
We believe that using Frontdesk Anywhere cloud-based software, you can give your property the professionalism business travelers respect. Unifying property management, booking, online distribution, and revenue management, it gives you a panoramic view of your business while providing unrivaled convenience for your guests.