Business or pleasure? Why do we have to choose?
Technological advances and changing attitudes to business are helping people discover that effective work is not just limited to the office anymore. In response, people are looking to alternatives from hotels and traditional accommodation for their work trips. Many portals, including Booking.com have a specific search option for business travellers now. Vacation rental properties are increasingly seen as a cheaper and more comfortable alternative to hotels for business travel. CNN has reported that 10% of business travellers have stayed in a vacation rental whilst on the road. And this number is set to increase. So how can you promote your properties to people travelling for business?
It’s not just location and price that is driving this shift. One of the recurring factors in this increase is that people are searching for places to stay with more warmth and personality than your average business hotel. The corporate landscape can seem a little bleak at times so people are searching for places to stay that are more than just pragmatic and comfortable. No matter how beautiful your property is though, people coming for work need to know exactly what they can expect. So to start receiving bookings you will need to outline exactly what you offer. No-one will book with you unless they know that all their requirements for their trip will be met. Wifi connection, a work space and transport links will be key. Also, travelling for work doesn't mean that your other requirements are less important. Emphasize the comfort and relaxation your property offers.
Check out our 5 tips on appealing to this market:
According to www.travelleadersgroup.com 95% of their surveyed business travellers name WIFI as an ´absoulte necessity’ for their accommodation. Make sure your connection is fast and stable, your phone line working and you provide all the details, such as passwords, in your guest handbook.
Comfort and Space
If you decide to market your property to business travellers you will have to set aside a designated work space. It should have a large desk, with plenty of space and plug sockets in an uncluttered area. Make sure this area is clear in the pictures so anyone looking at your property will know that they will have the space to get things done. The same applies to any other space you may have. So if you have an area that would be great for meetings or receiving clients, highlight it. People will only consider your property if they can quickly and easily see that they will be able to properly do their job there.
Give specific times for getting into the center, to the airport and the station for various modes of transport. People with important meetings in unfamiliar cities will need to know the time they need to set aside for getting around. Mention all the transport links your property is close to and provide a few numbers for good, local taxi firms.
The traditional modus operandi for business travel is to book reputable hotels near the airport or the business district. Neither area is particularly known for its culture when it comes to after work life. Highlight the food culture near your property and the places to see in the evenings. Having a work/life balance doesn’t stop when travelling so your usual hosting skills and local knowledge will be just as well received.
Finally, it has been accepted wisdom for a long time that business accommodation should be comfortable and functional, but there has been little emphasis on making it remarkable. An interesting environment will not hamper productivity. Emphasize being able to experience the city life. Business travel is about learning new things and broadening horizons so accommodation can reflect this. People may find that a more unique experience will help them concentrate and inspire creativity.
It may take a long time for larger businesses to start opting for vacation rentals when it comes to travel but this is certainly a growing industry. Younger people that personally advocate vacation rentals are now getting into professional positions where they can influence and set company travel policy, meaning there is likely to be a sharp upturn in people able to book alternative accommodation for business travel. We are certainly in the early stages but being one of the first to provide a high quality and professional service means you will surely be a part of this growth.
Have you looked into the business travel market for your properties? Share your experiences in the comments below.