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Business Travelers

Geolocation Services Tailored for The Business Traveler

According to a recent article in The Economist, the future of business travel will be focused on leveraging geolocation services. By homing in on the location of business travelers, it will be possible to provide real-time offers and upgrades depending on where they may be during their trip.

For example, a traveler could receive a real-time update on the status of a security line before he or she makes it to the airport, or be offered the ability to upgrade to first class right before boarding a flight.

These are all laudable examples that could potentially enhance the travel experience for any businessperson.

However, to truly resonate, the offers must have true meaning for the traveler, and not be generic in nature. The goal for providing these services should be to please the traveler, and not just focus on uncovering new revenue streams.

Another consideration is that many travelers are already inundated with native mobile apps on their smartphones, and it is not clear who would “own” the service.

For example, is Delta Airlines providing the real-time upgrade to first-class? Or would this offer come from a third party? To achieve this true geolocation benefit, a traveler may have to be connected to many different services and brands, which can become confusing.

Ideally, business travelers will be connected with one service that will operate as the “hub” for these real-time offers to occur. This would provide a more unified source that can leverage updates from any airline, hotel or other service.

Very soon we could live in a world where the business traveler is armed with real-time intelligence to make their journeys more frictionless. While many brands are seeking to develop the right mobile applications, it is always good to keep in mind that the most important thing is pleasing the traveler.


Helping Business Travelers Make The Most of Their Trips

Many of us take business trips that involve getting on a plane, landing, going to a meeting, then traveling back home again. While this type of travel enhances business growth and opportunities, it minimizes the opportunity to fully explore new locales or visit family and friends in the area.

However, this could change. Business travel is expected to continue to increase. According to a study by the Global Business Travel Association, U.S. business travel is expected to grow 6.6 percent in 2014. Along with this growth, next-generation travelers are looking to modify their business travel patterns by mixing in vacation time while on the road.

According to a study commissioned by the Hilton HHonors Surpass Card from American Express, 42.2 percent of those aged 18-24 would like to extend business trips into being vacations. In addition, affluent business travelers also see the benefit of extending their stay, with 44.8 percent of those earning $75,000 to $99,000 wanting to see the areas they visit while traveling on business.

While this is a one-question survey offered by a corporation – as opposed to an independent, third-party researcher – there is valuable information here. It reinforces how hospitality providers should develop planning tools to help business travelers plan their “downtime” when they are on the road.

Business travelers want a completely frictionless guest experience when they are traveling. The study reinforces that hoteliers should expand their thinking beyond helping the business traveler remain productive (i.e., through high-speed Internet and other business resources in the lobbies).

Business travelers are people who also like to have fun. They want to make most of their travel experiences, which extends beyond ensuring that the client meeting in Dallas went well.

This shift creates a new opportunity to provide the information and resources that allow hoteliers to build long-term brand loyalty. Hospitality providers can help these travelers create original experiences, which you cannot put a price tag on.