The rapid rise of the millennial business traveler has led to a shift in priorities and habits in the corporate travel world. Like leisure travelers, the newest generation of business travelers crave options. And, when it comes to lodging, they want to book into hotels that match their preferences. Whether they travel for work or pleasure, guests itch for a personalized experience.
As a result of this, today’s hotel industry must take this personalization message to heart and demonstrate they are paying acute attention to individual guests’ preferences. To better understand how hotels are adapting to the new habits of corporate travelers, we’ve asked Keytel Hotels how they develop their properties to cater a new breed of travelers. Keytel is Grupo Hotusa’s commercial hotel representative and reservations center.
How do you see the hotel of the future?
The travel and lodge sectors are experiencing important changes influenced by the new tastes and preferences of travelers and their new habits. Unavoidably, hotels must stand out with new offers and differentiating factors. The implementation and the development of new technologies go hand in hand with making customization possible and provide an unforgettable experience for the traveller.
The idea would be to attract and promote loyalty with clients through an exclusive proposal. That’s why hotels will offer more experimental stays, the star category will lose value and the online reputation will be the most important factor when booking in a hotel. The reception staff will disappear substituted by other roles linked to the concierge role or a guest experience manager. Also, some hotel services like cleaning, which up until now have been essential, will become optional perks that clients can hire to adapt to their schedule or preferences.
How can the hotel space be adapted to accommodate travellers’ new habits?
Nowadays, guests travel in a different way and expect hotels to adapt to new needs and requests. This requires a new organization of spaces. Rooms are smaller as guests would rather spend more time in common areas. At the same time, these areas are adapted to become cosier spaces where guests can socialize and eat, spending time without the need of searching other leisure options outside the hotel. The reception is replaced by stands for auto check-in and the meeting rooms become more versatile spaces designed for the new business profiles who are used to more relaxed work dynamics.
Are you working on the development of a smart hotel?
In the case of Eurostars Hotels Company, technology is seen as a resource to enrich the clients’ experience and reinvent the relationship between the client and the hotel. That’s why we developed Shine, an intelligent room model which can be found in some hotels of the group. It allows the client to project their own photos, videos, films and series. Also, the user can consult information about the destination, practise guided exercise or personalise the room through images and light effects.
What are the latest trends in room design?
As we have said, the trend is smaller rooms and a preference for common areas. Guests don’t want to work isolated in the room anymore, so the desk can disappear. This way, the hotel can set up spaces where guests are able to work in a relaxed ambiance with other guests, and eat or drink at the same time, or listen to music. The bed, of course, is the main element in the room, so it’s important to add gadgets which make it easier to use tablets and laptops. Similarly, in order to optimise cleaning times, the doors of the closets disappear. Even new elements are incorporated in the room such as equipment for exercising.
What are business travellers’ most frequent requests?
Business guests need something to ease their stay away from home. They want to minimize the inconveniences of travel and require solid Wi-Fi connection to be online and work without problems. A good gym is also important. This helps them maintain their routines and relax when the work day is over. It is also important to have the possibility of checking in online and a speedy check out process. In this sense, Keytel is working on offering business travelers the comforts to make their travel easier.
How do Keytel Hotels cater to business travellers?
Business customers will return if we offer them the comforts which ease their travel. It is important to have a good Wi-Fi network and we work to incorporate complementary leisure activities into the hotel, including interesting options for dining and cocktails.