The Summer 2023 travel season is well underway, and we’ve already covered how travel may be more difficult for business and leisure travelers as more people hit the road. Now, we’re exploring how hotels can support all travelers — from those traveling for business, to those traveling for pleasure — and improve their customer experience this summer.
Common business traveler vs. peak summer traveler: What’s the difference?
Before breaking down more specific differences, we’ll establish the main difference between the common business traveler and the peak summer traveler: while the common business traveler is on the road and staying at hotels for work-related purposes, the peak summer traveler is likely traveling for pleasure. The common business traveler likely travels more frequently throughout the year, while the peak summer traveler saves trips for special occasions and a break from work. This main distinction is what leads to the other differences between common business and peak summer travelers.
Because business travel is often an essential part of getting a job doneand can lead to a tangible return on investment, the total cost to travel may be more flexible for business travelers than peak summer travelers. Still, companies look for ways to reduce the cost of travel by booking at pre-negotiated or discounted rates.
Peak summer travelers are often more price sensitive because they are choosing when and how to travel. They have the flexibility to postpone a vacation or make hotel reservations based on the best price, instead of exact date and location.
Flexibility (or lack of):
When companies with traveling employees send out an individual or team to a job, the traveler likely has limited flexibility in their location and timing because of a project timeline, previously-scheduled meeting, or the location of the work-related events. Some travelers may even have to consider the type of parking available at a hotel before they book.
Leisure travelers, on the other hand, get to choose which days, weeks, or months that they travel, affording them more flexibility in their schedules. Plus, they get to choose where they travel to, allowing them to pick an area based on preference and interest instead of business.
Amenities and facilities:
While location is a critical factor for business travelers, peak summer travelers more often prioritize hotel facilities and amenities like swimming pools, entertainment, and room service. For business travelers, access to high-speed Wi-Fi, a business center, and meeting or conference rooms is likely more important, as they may need to work from the hotel itself. Connectivity is less critical for peak summer travelers who are away from work and trying to unplug from their devices.
Again, because peak summer travelers make a decision about when and where to travel, they have more flexibility in choosing which hotel to stay at. Peak summer travelers can spend hours looking at reviews and recommendations about the best hotel based on their own preferences and interests, while business travelers or the managers booking for them are more focused on simply having a clean, convenient place to stay at night.
3 Ways for Hotels to Drive Traveler Satisfaction this Summer
Here are 3 ways to increase traveler satisfaction this summer, plus a few of the ways that CLC Lodging can help.
1. Understand travelers’ needs and expectations.
Understanding what travelers want out of a hotel experience is essential to meeting their expectations, and the time of year that hotel guests book for may indicate what these expectations are. During the summer months, hotels can anticipate more travelers who want amenities, but who are also looking for the best deals. In the low travel season, where more hotel guests are traveling for business, expect guests who are loyal to certain hotel brands and who are looking for the most convenient option.
2. Be prepared to meet hotel guests’ standards.
As outlined above, both peak season and business travelers have specific standards that hotels can meet to ensure customer satisfaction. Meeting guests’ standards may include having proper staffing and well-trained employees, sufficient inventory, the ability to troubleshoot or prevent Wi-Fi issues, and streamlined, mobile-friendly communication with guests about policies and processes.
3. Don’t overbook.
One of the biggest fears of business travelers? Getting walked to another hotel after a long day on the road. Overbooked hotels are a frequent complaint during peak season travel, and being relocated to another hotel is a hassle for both hotels and their guests.
The best way to avoid overbooking is to be careful not to overbook by too many rooms. Hotels can also predict demand and cancellation rates based on where their booking came from (directly with the hotel or a travel management system, versus an online travel agency that might have higher cancellation rates).
To stay on top of reservations and ensure that travelers get the rooms they reserved, CLC Lodging rolled out the ability to add a notification in the reservation notes to let hotels know when a guest is planning on arriving later. This way, travelers can have more confidence that they won’t lose their room, and hotels can help ensure their guests’ satisfaction.
CLC Lodging is America’s workforce lodging leader.
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