Earlier this year, several research shops predicted the return of business travel. The corporate travel budget may be back but expenditures are still carefully watched. To eke out as much profit as possible, hotels are now being encouraged to target women travelers. This group exhibits different travel patterns and looks for different features when compared to male business travelers.
Currently about 50% of the business travel market is made up of women. In addition, men often keep their business trips to single night events. But 44% of women like to include leisure activities in their business trips and 20% say they’ll take vacation days during a business trip to extend their stay. When women book hotels for business trips, they often do so well in advance of their male counterparts and they’re more likely to stay at less-expensive locations. However, women are also looking for specific features:
- Feelings of safety – Well-lit hallways and extra locks are key
- Feelings of comfort – Quality bedding, temperature control and a low level of noise are important
- Feelings of empowerment – Room service and on-site fitness centers make a difference
- Feelings of being valued – This demographic appreciates quality bath products, flavored coffee/tea and quality room furnishings
New research from Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research indicates that over half of surveyed hotel managers believe that addressing the need of the women’s business travel market is important for increasing revenue. Yet only 27% of these hotels are making any special effort to improve their offerings for this market segment. Hotels which do make changes that are important to women business travelers and promote them accordingly are likely to see more demand for their rooms.[Source: Brownell, Judi. Creating Value for Women Business Travelers. Center for Hospitality Research. Hotelschool.cornell.edu. June 2011. Web. 29 Jul. 2011]