Looking at a map of South East Asia you will find a plethora of 4 and 5-star hotels that are lobbying for your business. Location is where it starts. A central location makes for convenience. Less time and expense travelling to and from business meetings and the ability to step out of your hotel door and feel the city vibe around you is a good start when looking for the right hotel.
But with so many hotels competing for the business traveller what are the incentives they offer to entice you in through their doors? We’ll open those doors for you to give you a glimpse into the world of Business Travel Programmes offered by 4 and 5-star hotels so that you’re packed with the information that’s going to help you bag the most out of your host.
First, let’s take a look at what incentives they have for your company.
If you want rate-certainty and have a large enough budget then great rates can be negotiated for all of your company’s travellers. Discounted room prices and added extras such as free WiFi or parking are what you will be getting for all of your employees.
More and more hotels are now offering you the option of dynamic pricing. If you know your pattern of spending and volume of traffic then this might be the programme for you. It’s a corporate-specific discount that is applied to the hotel’s best available rates. This is particularly useful if you know that your company has a lot of off-peak travel arrangements which are generally cheaper anyway and so you might not be making savings with the usual corporate rates that are discounted according to peak time prices.
If you are a company with a smaller accommodation spend, then hotels are still offering you incentives too. Through Travel Management Companies you can get discounted rates on rooms and other extras. The TMC can negotiate rates that you as a smaller business won’t be able to leverage for yourself.
Not solely about savings for the company, effective Business Travel Programmes are now about experiences too. They ensure individuals within the company’s travel scheme will see the advantages of booking the hotels in the programme.
So what incentives for you, the business traveller:
- The best hotels will make it easy for you by sending you relevant information before you arrive. Mobile check-in and keyless room entry will be a couple of reasons you’ll be knocking at their door. And if they really know how to handle their guests, they will offer you a free meal and/or drink voucher on arrival.
- Hoteliers will want to connect in other ways too. Your technology with their sockets and portals are going to make a match made in business heaven if there’s enough of them in your room. You want a room that is equipped with everything the business traveller needs and that includes fast WiFi, appropriate lighting and suitable furniture too. Not to mention courtesy toiletries and ironing facilities to help you look crisp and ready for business.
- It goes without saying that efficiency is a powerful incentive when it comes to business travellers. Being smart, hotels will have created a mobile website that makes you city-smart. Maps, click-to-call phone numbers, recommended places to visit, eat, etc. are in-roads into making your business trip cruise along smoothly rather than a scramble to get from A to B.
- Cross-promotions are a service that great hotels can provide to save you time and money. Booking your stay with hotels that have cross-promotions with car rental companies, airport pick up services, local restaurants and attractions means good business for them and for you.
- With today’s health-focused lifestyle you don’t want to let your guard down and your waist-line grow while you are away from home, so the best 4 and 5 star hotels offer healthy options on their menu and a gym and/or pool to maintain fitness and well-being.
- Some Business Travel Programmes allow you to use corporate rates or corporate benefits for personal travel too. Others will share benefits such as status match or increased loyalty points to you as an individual.
- 4 and 5-star hotels are upping their game and providing stunning executive lounges to entice you through their doors. Designed to be a home from home where you can enjoy a buffet breakfast and dine on snacks and beverages all day, the best hotels go that little bit further and kit out their lounges in luxurious furniture for dining, working and relaxing. They often offer spectacular views of the city to give you that top of the world feeling while you do business. Boardroom use is also on the agenda in many of the top-class hotels. Comfort areas with plush settees and armchairs and large screen TVs ensure its not all work for you.
Just a Little Bit Longer…
Increasingly it’s becoming common practice to mix business with pleasure. Or rather pleasure with business. Extended stays of a couple of days before or after your business trip to include leisure activities are an increasing trend. It has given birth to a new term in the business world, ‘Bleisure’ travellers and their more spontaneous associates the ‘Workventure’ travellers.
Activities include the more usual sightseeing excursions, but also experiencing art and culture and enjoying local cuisines and customs. It’s a growing trend that goes along with a growing budget. Bleisure and Workventure travellers tend to spend double than their ‘Business-only’ colleagues, and they also tend to take family or friends along with them to enjoy the experience.
The savvy hoteliers are making sure that they help you to be a savvy bleisure or workventure business traveller. To compete for your business they will keep you up-to-date with local information and events so that you can effortlessly slip out of your suit into your slacks.
It’s clear to see that business travellers are sought after by the best hotels in the world. 4 and 5-star hotels are offering amazing incentives to gain your loyalty. So next time you’re looking for a hotel in a busy city like Kuala Lumpur or Singapore be sure to check out what they’re offering you to keep you coming through their doors.