TORONTO — Hotels are missing the mark in a couple of key areas, according to a recent study of Canadian business travellers commissioned by Toronto-based Active International Canada. Respondents suggest their hotel experience could be improved with more free services: reliable Wi-Fi, parking, more “extras” such as newspapers, and either a complimentary or a better breakfast.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is now an expectation amongst business travellers and is the most common suggestion given when asked to improve the hotel experience. In addition, ambiance and amenities play a large role in differentiating hotels. One in five travellers surveyed recommended hotels improve their restaurants, undertake renovations or modernizations, or invest in better fitness centres.
“Overall, hotels are doing a good job meeting the needs of Canadian business travellers,” said Nikki Stone, VP, business development and head of Travel at Active International Canada. “Good customer service and friendly, knowledgeable staff were commonly mentioned by survey respondents when describing positive hotel experiences; the top reasons for requesting different accommodations typically related to the quality and cleanliness of their room or poor service.”
The study also reveals that travellers, not companies, most often make business travel decisions, including when to travel, what airline to fly with, which hotel chain to select and the type of hotel room to book. Less than 20 per cent of respondents said their company has a central travel coordinator who must make all bookings. A large majority place their bookings directly with the hotel through the Internet, telephone or mobile app.
“Decentralization is an important consideration for hotels and airlines when deciding how to allocate sales and promotional budgets to reach key decision-makers,” added Stone. “To be effective, they will need to target individual business travellers, as well as corporate travel departments and organizations.”