Gone are the days when people travelled exclusively for a business meeting or to strike a deal with a prospective client. Today’s smart business travelers ensure they get both business and leisure while on a business trip. This trend of combining business with leisure is being termed ‘Bleisure’.
Business travelers make full use of their time in hotels, in between transits and even during breaks in a meeting. Tech savvy passengers use e-boarding passes, hotel check-in apps and in-flight Wi-Fi to get their work done on the go. Even while waiting at the Executive lounge, they seek business opportunities, make new clients and promote their service or business.
The new prospect has been cleverly captured by various travel agents and airlines. Virgin Atlantic for example has worked on ottomans that double as a seat for people to chat and make new acquaintances. Other places which are being treated as meeting places are onboard bars and lounge spaces both in hotels and airports. Some even have pre-fixed appointments at these informal places.
However, while being more efficient and product, modern business travelers make sure he indulges and gain a good experience while on a business trip. Most travelers are likely to accompany a family member or their partner when on a business trip and are also likely to extend their trip for a few more days to ensure a wholesome business-cum-leisure experience.
Travel companies who have started sensing this new opportunity are exploring a slew of new and innovative designs and services to dig deeper and make business travel more productive. Here we take a deeper dig at trends and predictions for business travelers in 2017.
According to forecasts, business travel is likely to increase owing to improved economic conditions. However, as the companies remain cautious about the economic scenario they are likely to maintain a conservative approach when it comes to spending.
Hotels too would be reluctant to raise their fares even though they should increase the prices because of increased demand and a limited increase in supplies.
The industry outlook proffers better days ahead for the hotel industry. We can therefore expect renewed interest of investors in the industry and a slight increase in room supply. This also means hotel operators are now in a better position to negotiate rates something they were not in a position to do for quite some time. In a stronger position, hotels have now started negotiating rates with corporate travelers.
The age-group of business travelers currently belong to the generation born between 1980 and 1990 who are extremely tech savvy. And these are the people who are frequent travelers and make best use of technology. This growing generation poses greater influence on the business travel industry than the older generation. It is this generation which has higher expectations when they are travelling especially they look for perks like free WiFi and other facilities. It is their expectation that hotels revolve their facilities around. The business travelers while making last minute bookings, the first thing they look for is the technological facilities.
We are living in a ‘Smart Age’ when we have apps on our phone for every small service. Going by the trend, some of the airlines have announced that passenger will soon be able to use their Smart watch to download boarding passes while hotel will equip the watch with room key function so guests will not need to fiddle with their key card.
As a business traveler you will also need not worry about getting real time updates! Many travel operators have developed apps that will allow users to send and receive real time updates and notifications. These gadgets will serve as a valuable time-saver for business travelers.
Business travelers who seek convenience and speed no longer depend on human force to check in, manage trips or make bookings. The DIY travel options have widened scope for faster and better options for frequent business travelers.
Hotels now offer mobile check-ins, your smart phone is now your boarding pass and room service is also done through an app! With more people owning smart phones, these services are only going to get better with each passing moment and a seasoned business traveler will expect more of these.
As an increased number of newer generation is coming into the foray of business travel, many have started exploring money-saving possibilities. A domain which was actually the copyright of backpackers is now being opted by business travelers as well.
Share-based economy is what these travelers are looking into. Some new travel search sites have started including shared-economy options in their search results. With new transport and accommodation alternatives coming up, traditional market will bound to suffer.
The latest trend of 2017 is the change in meeting and conferencing habits of Generation X and Generation Y. To address these very pressing needs of the travelers, hotels have started focusing on flexible work space fully adept with technology, multimedia approach and presentation facilities.
Hotels have started giving importance to video conferencing and audio visual equipments in their hotels. The line between formal and informal meetings has blurred and rooms and seminar halls are designed in such a way to facilitate any type of meeting and conferencing needs of business travelers.
The concept of business travelers has changed over a period of time. It is no longer associated with the conventional sense of business travel. A business traveler while becoming more productive when on the move is sure to indulge when the meetings are all done.
Hotels need to catch up with the new breed of business travelers who are more tech-savvy, more demanding in terms of amenities and yet look to economize as much as possible.
This entry was posted in Business Traveler
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