The typical hotel focuses on two segments of the travel industry: business and pleasure. The corporate travel budget has recovered somewhat since the recession ended, but hotel operators are using new tactics to get more from business travelers. This includes introducing a suite of services designed to assist the business traveler.
As airlines have continued to cut back on services offered to business travelers, airports and hotels have sensed an opportunity. These days, hotels are dispatching airport concierges to help travelers navigate between the airport and the hotel. Operators are providing extra amenities such as onsite luggage weighing and shipping excess clothing and personal belongings to a customer’s home address. Other hotels are promoting food-to-go packages for travelers who don’t want to eat airport fare. To make use of extra room inventory, hotels based close to airports are also promoting half-day rates to travelers with long layovers.
Hotels are also make changes to the business center which has long been a computer-filled room located down an obscure hallway. These days, business travelers are encountering a business center located in the hotel lobby. There, they can enjoy a snack or beverage, use their laptops to take care of email, and send a document to a centrally located printer. According to Verchele Wiggins, vice president of global brand management for Holiday Inn, the updated business center caters to the traveler who wants to be social and also wants to get some work done.
Look for hotels to promote new and lucrative services to assist business travelers as the economic recovery gains speed.[Sources: Higgins, Michelle. Airlines cut Back, Hotels Step In. New York Times. 30 Nov. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2011; Weed, Julie. Farewell to the Business Center. New York Times. 14 Nov. 2011. Web. 8 Dec. 2011]