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Key Business Travel Trends Shaping Today’s Business Experience

September 11, 2017 OTA News No Comments Email Email

Gone are the days when business travel meant suited and booted executives jet-setting to destinations near and far, typically staying in predictable hotel suites – fit for purpose, but in no way geared towards personalisation, or cultivating an ‘experience’. Today’s business travellers, by contrast, want and increasingly are served more choice, flexibility and customisation in where they rest their head for the night.

This may be because the profile of business travellers is changing. By 2025, millennials will represent 75% of the global workforce.[1] And they are now the most frequent, and therefore among the most influential category of business travellers, completing an average of 7.7 trips over the past 12 months compared to 7.4 on average. 

Today’s travelling professional wants a new experience they can’t find at home, and a place to stay that fits with their lifestyle. Luckily for them, they now have access to a dizzying array of accommodation choices – only limited by their imagination – that can still fall within their corporate travel policies. This millennial agenda has ushered in a shift in accommodation offerings for business travellers as providers look to update the services they provide guests to build customer loyalty. Hotels are no longer just places to relax after a long day of meetings but a launch pad to explore the city, catering to convenience, enjoyment and lifestyle choices.

So, how are accommodation providers rising to the challenge? Booking.com, the global leader in connecting travellers with the widest choice of incredible places to stay, takes a look at some key business travel trends shaping today’s business experience:

  • Seamless Services over Fancy Interiors: Traditional hotel chains have had to adapt to meet the changing demands and expectations of this new breed of business traveller. Millennial business travellers expect a seamless experience, with a smooth welcome and fuss-free technology playing a major part – from pre-arrival emails confirming their breakfast preferences to smartphone check-in, strong Wi-Fi connectivity and keyless room entry. Hyatt recently launched a new brand of hotels focused specifically on attracting millennial guests through streamlined services. For example, Hyatt Centric offers incentives to create a stylised experience – with a “knock ‘n’ drop” service to replace formal room service, and the option to bring pets.
  • Sociability over Penthouse Suites: For millennials, communality is key. This generation of business traveller is driving the sharing economy across the business travel industry, citing convenience and sociability as the main motivating factors. Freehand, the first luxury hostel chain in the US, offers shared rooms for business travellers looking to meet new people on their trips.
  • Personalisation over Commercialisation: The range of unique accommodations on the market now allows business travellers to align where they stay with their lifestyles and personal interests. Recent research has found that nearly half of millennials said a premium fitness centre with options for on-or off-site exercise classes helped determine their hotel choice, as opposed to more than a third of Generation Xers and fewer than a quarter of baby boomers.[3] Boutique hotels such as Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam have embraced the trend towards lifestyle amenities, even kitting out every room with a yoga mat!

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