As the business travel market picks up in 2012, service operators in this industry need to review what they are offering and how to appeal to prospective clients. New research shows that business travelers are increasingly comprised of a wide range of demographic groups. As a result, hotels and airlines must broaden the scope of their marketing.
Adam Weissenberg, the vice chairman of the Deloitte group for global travel, hospitality and leisure, says, "It's important for hotels to focus on the burgeoning number of young business travelers.” These younger travelers are looking for a “livelier, faster-paced experience.” Older travelers prefer a “more traditional stay.” With respect to hotels, the biggest traveler complaints are:
- Below-standard hotels 6%
- Inattentive hotel staff 5%
Some hotels have introduced automated kiosks for check-in. About 36% of younger travelers ages 18–44 prefer using those kiosks but only 19% of the 45+ age group do. But kiosks will not suffice with respect to the added amenities travelers want from hotels. In exchange for the higher prices not being charged, 77% of travelers expect amenities such as complimentary Internet access.
If there’s one thing that aggravates business travelers more than hotel problems, it is the hassle at the airport. Flight delays at the airport (37%) and long security lines (30%) are the top 2 airport-related gripes. While airlines can’t always control these factors, they can offer programs coveted by business travelers such as free flights (69%) and free upgrades (48%) to garner loyalty.
The good news is 85% of business travelers expect to travel as much or more in 2012 when compared to 2011. There’s money to be made in this market. Travel operators just need to promote their offerings in the most positive light.[Source: Business Travel Set to “Take Off” in 2012. Deloitte.com. 6 Dec. 2011. Web. 3 Jan. 2012]