A business hotel is more than just the right amenities and a comfortable pillow to rest your head on at night. The right business travel accommodation should leave you feeling energised and ready to tackle your business engagements during the day – after all, that’s the whole purpose of the trip.
Oz Desai, General Manager Corporate Traveller, highlights a few important things you should consider when choosing the right business travel accommodation for your next business trip.
A Seamless Experience
“Ultimately great business travel accommodation anticipates the needs of corporate travellers and removes any possibility of friction, from booking to check-out,” explains Desai.
But with an increasingly multigenerational workforce and shifts in business travel preferences and behaviours, these needs are not static.
The hospitality industry, like the travel industry as a whole, is adapting and offering more creative and customised solutions which include things like personalisation, tailored and blended tech, better value for money, full transparency and assured security for both the traveller and their manager.
The modern business traveller expects seamless integration of technology, available at their fingertips and uniquely suited to their needs.
A great vehicle for traveller-centricity is blended technology, which manages to be inclusive of varying technical preferences and proficiencies for a multigenerational workforce.
“The consumerisation of corporate travel is definitely happening. Travellers are telling us that when they travel for leisure, they have amazing tools, but when it comes to company trips, they have nothing. That is why Corporate Traveller has invested in traveller-centric solutions to change the perception of corporate travel and make it exciting again,” says Desai.
Skip Shared Economy Platforms
While the sharing economy is great because it promises an authentic and intimate experience and possibly even some cost savings its best to give it a miss as an option for business travel accommodation.
Booking through a sharing economy platform opens one up to a much higher chance of creating traveller friction than when booking a vetted, in-policy property through a reputable travel management specialist.
Imagine arriving at your accommodation only to find that that there’s nobody to let you in or worse still discovering that the images online do not accurately reflect the reality.
Value Beyond Room Rates
As the accommodation market hones in on consumer behaviour, it grows increasingly adept at adjusting pricing to maximise profits.
In response, more travellers are turning to online sites to shop around in an attempt to find the ‘best’ price.
But as with the sharing economy, snapping up the lowest accommodation rate may not actually translate to the best value.
Hidden costs related to changes and cancellations, as well as more limited payment options are common on these public platforms.
In contrast, a reputable TMC can add value beyond the room rate. A TMC has access to more forgiving cancellation policies and flexible terms.
It can further negotiate rates with key accommodation providers and jump in if something doesn’t go to plan.
Duty of Care
Choosing a reliable and safe hotel is an integral part of travel risk control and should be a key priority of your company’s duty of care policy.
However, according to International SOS, only 24% of organisations implement safety and security checks for hotels or accommodation.
Mitigating accommodation-related risks may mean your company needs to dedicate time to extensive research or expensive assessments.
However, the cost of not addressing accommodation-related risks could result in travellers feeling unsafe, being unwilling to travel, or perhaps even exposed to physical harm.
In South Africa, there is always an additional layer of risk and security, along with a higher incidence of fraud, that travellers and their managers must consider.
Working with a reputable TMC that understands the local market and its risk profile will help you and your company navigate the nuances of travel in South Africa and the rest of the continent.