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Travel Savvy: Hotels Compete for Business Travelers

Let’s get real business travelers: business is business, and the hotel business is no less of one than any other when it comes to wooing the savvy, upscale business traveler.

 

Smart hotels have caught on to offering the amenities that count:  those that will appeal to the high-end business traveler.  Opulence is nice, but when all is said and done, ambiance and artwork are not what brings them back.

Joseph McInerney, president of the American Hotel & Lodging Association says, “The business traveler is back after two years.”  What kept them away?  McInerney says, “Restrictions from corporate travel departments and choosing the less pricey “select service” brands.”  Not only are business travelers back, but so may be the rates, and hotels are competing to secure loyalty from their power executive customers.  What McInerney tells us they want is to provide amenities that don’t cost them an arm and a leg in the process.

Forrester Research analyst Henry Harteveldt says, “Today’s business traveler is time-starved and craves digitally consumable information and entertainment.”  Hotels have to be creative thinking organizations in order to distinguish themselves.  Upgraded fixtures in the bath and upgraded bedding are already in place.  Says Harteveldt, “Hotels need to offer relevant services, whether for free or for an addition (but reasonable) fee.”

Dean of New York University’s Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management, Bjorn Hanson says, “Some business travelers have found that the select service experience is preferable, with its kiosks and free WI-Fi, and upscale hotels are now answering their demands.”  With what, you might ask?  Try downloadable applications that allowing guests to use smart phones as key cards, use of e-readers and tablets, and exercise equipment in the room.business people jumping resized 600

Called “wow factor” services, Harteveldt adds that these new amenities are smart for business.  He says, “Providing tablets may help get the guest out of his or her room and into a lounge or restaurant, where the guest may spend some money on food or beverages.”  Where do hotels get talked about?  The golf course, parties and – bingo – social media outlets online (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.)

Hotels have a challenge to keep up as the bar continues to get raised.  Just as an example, how would you like to get your airport transfers in a Maserati?  You can at the Armani Hotel in Dubai).  At the Jefferson in Washington, D.C. they’ve installed microchip-embedded in-room dining carts.  At the Elysian in Chicago are fully contained in-room offices. The Mark in New York City offers 24-hour check-in (your room ready whenever you get in), an iButler for any IT problems, local mobile phones available at check-in, a business cart with Mac or PC laptops, printers, Polycom videoconferencing equipment and game consoles, in-room touchscreen and complimentary Wi-Fi and local calls.

The day of the business traveler as king has arrived at a totally new level.  It will be an interesting, continual one-upmanship game to watch and enjoy!  Play ball!

If you’re a business traveler flying into and doing business in Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Newark and Atlantic City areas, Philadelphia Limousine Services will escort you in style from the airport to your hotel and to meetings and events as well.

Travel Savvy: Hotels Compete for Business Travelers

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