The Business of Business Travels
There is a lot of attention paid to vacationers in the hospitality industry. Certainly, tourism accounts for substantial revenue in hotels and resorts ($718.4 billion spent domestically and internationally according to the U.S. Travel Association). So, it might be easy to forget another important segment…business travelers. Hotels that cater to business travelers must have an effective Visual Communications system to let guests know about amenities, local attractions, flight status and more.
Business Travel Statistics
Business travel is big business, with billions spent in the U.S. and around the world every year.
- Direct spending on domestic and international business travel totaled $317.2 billion in 2017
- ME&I (Meals and Incidentals Expenses) accounted for $131.8 billion of all business travel spending
- U.S. residents logged 463.9 million trips for business purposes, 38% for meetings & events
Those stats represent expenditures for meetings, events and incentive programs, but more importantly, they underscore that the business traveler is well worth targeting. So, that brings up a valid question: how do you attract, retain and engage business travelers?
Digital Signage and the Business Travel Industry
Whether your property is small and caters to business meetings, a medium-sized hotel that books weddings and other events, or even a large hotel with a conference center, digital signage can help you engage and inform guests.
Digital communications can let guests know about hotel amenities, local attractions, on-site restaurants, business center locations, banquet halls and other perks such as audio/visual technology, and Wi-Fi connectivity. You can also promote special rates and discounts that cater to groups.
Dynamic message boards can also be used to display maps of the property, information about meeting rooms, as well as current and upcoming schedules in real-time, including locations and time changes.
Today’s business travelers also appreciate interactive wayfinding stations because those installations enable guests to help themselves, when and where they need to. These solutions can also be built to include a mobile application so that anyone attending a meeting or conference can navigate while he or she is on the go. You can also install video walls in the lobby to capture visitors’ attention and deliver impactful brand messaging the moment people step through the door.
Courtyard by Marriott presented a unique challenge for Four Winds Interactive. To meet the needs of business travelers, the hotel chain did a complete rebranding of its marketing and the overall look of the properties. This included creating more inviting public spaces that were both relaxing and functional for groups of all sizes. They also upgraded the onsite dining options and created Courtyard Refreshing Business Lobbies that could be reproduced in multiple locations.
The challenge was communicating these enhanced business amenities to their more than 1,000 locations around the world. They wanted a digital experience that could retool their image and promote the new onsite amenities, but the system needed to be flexible, scalable and customizable for each location. In addition to standardized features, they also wanted to include location-specific information.
Business travelers represent a large and growing segment of the hospitality industry, and hotels need to have the right communications system in place to cater to these guests’ needs. FWI can help you design a system to fit your need, no matter how small or large your property, or even if you need to communicate across multiple properties and locations. Contact us today.