Many travel suppliers are missing the mark on the fastest growing majority of their customers — women business travelers. According to The Women In Business Travel Report, conducted by Maiden Voyage, 47 percent of women who travel, travel on business and 80 percent of all travel spend is managed by women. This makes them currently the fastest growing segment of business travelers.
So, what are these travel suppliers doing to accommodate this growing segment of their customers? Though there have been studies and enhancements over the past few years, there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Where should travel suppliers be focusing on to further accommodate women traveler preferences?
Safety and Security
Joe Bates of the Global Business Travel Association observes that women have a greater focus on safety and security. “It would be things like, ‘Is the hotel located in a safe part of town? How do I know the taxi company I’m using is a reputable one?’ … Things of that nature tend to resonate much more with women than with male travelers.”Bates says.
It’s not rocket science that staying safe is a priority for women traveling alone. MaidenVoyage.com, who conducted the survey, is a website that connects female business travelers with each other to rate hotels and share experiences. Hotels are then scored based on specific safety concerns, such as 24-hour front desk attendants or on-site secure parking. What is most often discovered is that hotel staff can go even further in analyzing their actions and behavior to make guests feel more secure. Does your staff loudly announce the hotel room number at the front desk? Do they consider which room to book for a single women traveling specially? Thinking about these tiny details in the hotel services experiences can change the experience for solo travelers.
Dedicated Services & Amenities
Another reason the increase of women business travelers should be on traveler supplier’s radar, is their tendency to be the planner in future travels. Women make up 85% of purchase choices for households. Their opinions hold firm weight in the long run. Was their experience in the hotel enjoyable enough to plan a family location or future business trip to include your hotel again?
Hotel amenities and quality of the services are overall more particular to women. This is why some hotels are leveraging this by adjusting amenities. Some hotels have added complimentary curling irons, hair straighteners, increased electrical outlets in the bathroom, and enlarged makeup mirrors.
The Hyatt Group has done extensive research into this demographic. After an 18 month survey, they improved their services by adding the ‘Hyatt Has It’ program and additional amenities. Guests can rent or purchase items they may have forgotten to bring. Whether it be a room humidifier or extra hair conditioner, Hyatt has positioned themselves as the reliable friend who can ensure your comfort while visiting.
Business travel services are always changing, and in this respect, I think it’s changing for the better. Though originally targeted for women, having a larger focus on safety protocols and elevating usability of hotels and complimentary items are things that can benefit everyone.