BE A MIDWEEK HERO OR HOW TO ATTRACT MORE BUSINESS TRAVELERS TO YOUR HOTEL
It’s a common scenario for many hotels – you could easily sell twice as many rooms on the weekends if you had them, but things get quiet during the week. But what if you could tap into a market that rarely has an off-season, keeps buzzing Monday thru Thursday and has low-maintenance guests with an easily-defined set of needs?
Individual Business Travel (IBT) could be just the ticket to increase your occupancy and RevPAR, but how do you attract these lucrative business travelers to your hotel?
1. Harness The Bleisure Travel Trend
“Bleisure”, the concept of combining business with pleasure by mixing professional travel and a personal leisure getaway, keeps increasing. A recent study by the Expedia Media Group found that 60% of travelers extended their business trip for some well-deserved leisure time -- a 40% increase since 2016!
Your bread and butter may be leisure, but if you can customize your offerings to appeal to business travelers, you could be in an excellent position to take advantage of this growing trend.
A great way to encourage this behavior is to send business travelers personal offers to extend their stay along with a suggested itinerary or package. Need a little inspiration?
Check out our FREE DOWNLOAD: 30 Creative & Inspiring Hotel Package Ideas From Independent Hoteliers Like You
2. Leverage A Loyalty Program
Road warriors don’t just want points, they need them. Reward stays are how they make up for all the time away from home and their families. But don’t take our word for it. The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) recently released a report on the needs of business travelers. The key takeaways:
82% say loyalty programs matter when deciding on a hotel
9 out of 10 business travelers view rewards points as a motivating factor in selecting a hotel
81% believe being a loyalty member results in better service
The top reward they looked for was the ability to earn free nights
A good hotel loyalty program can also provide the opportunity to gather guest data so you can recognize your business travelers and personalize your offers and services.
Plus, as an independent hotel, a loyalty program can also provide a network and critical connections to the companies and contacts you need.
3. Tailor Your Amenities & Service
The GBTA study also found that personalization was extremely important to business travelers; the experience and services they need are distinct from a typical leisure guest. The very top priority being easy access to fast WiFi, of course.
For the jet lagged corporate traveler, fast and flexible check-in and check-out is also a valuable perk. Go straight to the front line and ask your GSAs to look for ways to optimize the experience. Or perhaps look to technology to provide mobile check-in solutions. And while it can complicate housekeeping’s schedule, a good property management system can keep your departments in sync, and this consideration will help you win your guests’ loyalty.
Finally, because business travelers are on the road so much, maintaining a healthy balance is increasingly important. This includes access to fitness facilities and lighter meal options. If your property does not have a fitness center, consider partnering with a nearby gym or yoga studio to offer free or discounted passes.
4. Rub Elbows With Local Businesses
Which companies call your city home and are bringing the business travelers in? Reach out to them, invite them for a tour of the property or even host your next local chamber event. Depending on the potential volume they could bring, you may even want to discuss a LNR - local negotiated rate.
We highly recommend implementing LRA policy (Last Room Available) with any negotiated rate, even during high season. This means as long as you have availability, you will honor the rate. You don’t want to hurt your relationship with these clients for a few dollars, and it can help to guarantee a long term revenue stream for your property.
And don’t overlook who is actually booking or influencing where travelers stay. Find out who they are, develop a relationship with them and consider offering incentives for them to book and refer business to your hotel.
Implementing these recommendations can help increase individual business travel to your hotel, and pretty soon you’ll been swimming in midweek guests!
If you’re an independent hotel looking to level the playing field with the chains and OTAs by providing your guests with an award-winning loyalty program, our Hotel Partnership Team would love to speak with you. Let’s setup a time to chat today!