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Corporate clientele: business for hoteliers

The economic situation, changing lifestyles and the development of new technologies influence business travelers' behavior. While their weight in the clientèle mix has been falling for a few years, their expectations have not stopped evolving, as results of a survey by Hospitality ON with Olakala show.

As the economy struggles to regain a healthy trajectory, corporate budgets allocated for employee travel continue to shrink, and this may be felt in the clientèle-mix of hotels. All the more so since international leisure clientèle are increasing, driven by the growth of emerging countries and the return of certain traditional clientèle.

The results of a survey realized by Hospitality On, with Olakala, with French hoteliers, thus show that the general trend is mostly a shrinking volume of business travelers in the clientèle mix. 42% of respondents estimate that the share of business tourists in their overall clientèle dropped in recent years; slightly according to 26%, significantly according to 16%. Meanwhile for 33% it remained unchanged, while only 25% mention improvement.

The weight of business clients in the clientèle mix at hotels nonetheless remains important at most properties. it surpassed half of total arrivals for 37% of respondents (particularly at the bigger hotels), and 38% estimate that it is between 20% and 50%.



In addition to customer arrivals the poor economic climate and frozen dedicated budgets also influence the behavior of business travelers who remain attentive to their expenses while traveling. Survey results show that budget control is a priority for business customers during their travel and has been cited by 78% of respondents.  Backed by this observation, many have chosen to implement promotional rates at destinations targeting corporations and business travelers.

Other social evolutions come into play when talking about new expectations of business tourists, such as increased use of new technologies on a daily basis. Thus, the will to stay connected, for professional and personal reasons alike has become the second most important need for business travelers. This is how  73% of hoteliers interviewed  responded who attempt to best adapt their offer by installing increasingly powerful and free WiFi connections for their guests.

The progress of technology is also increasing the need for rapidity, especially for business clientèle. today business travelers expect rapid procedures and don't want to waste time while making reservations, or at check-in and check-out, as 27% of respondents to the survey mention. Simplified reception systems, made possible by the digitalization of procedures, are thus becoming widespread in the sector.

Hoteliers must also anticipate growth of the Millennial Generation on the business segment and consider their new expectations to make their product evolve. 8% of hoteliers surveyed have observed a growing need to combine work and relaxation and 8% the need for a personalizable work space.

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