Not all international business travelers can relax and watch a movie in English. They might use English for work, but relaxing and watching a movie or TV show isn’t the same. There are also millions of people who don’t speak English at all. For both, watching something on the hotel room or apartment TV isn’t obvious. They typically end up zapping endlessly, finishing their day with frustration. Let’s look at the actual choices they have.
Nothing onÊlocal TV channels
They can only do that if they speak the local language, which fewer business guests do. Think of Asia, the Gulf, or even France, Germany and many more countries where millions of international business people travel every year and don’t speak the local language.
Not much on international TV channels
International channels in hotels are subject to their geographic location. They receive them via satellite, so hotels in some countries will get more channels for example. Anyhow, the vast majority of the interesting channels and shows are still in English, and the subtitles are not always available in every language. So again, there are not many interesting choices there.
Language and choice limitations withÊmovies on-demand
If the hotel or the apartment has an IPTV solution which offers movies on-demand, firstly the guests will have to pay extra to watch, and secondly the list of movie choices needs to be satisfactory. Frequent business travelers, or people who watch a lot of movies, often find themselves without many choices as they also watch movies during flights and at home. So they end up having watched everything they want to watch already, and they don’t need to have a very advanced movie taste for this to happen. In addition to that, the movies need to have subtitles in their main language, which isn’t always the case.
Irrelevant streaming services
They can either connect their device to the hotel room TV or use the hotel TV apps for logging into to their Netflix, Hulu, Amazon TV or other accounts if they have one. But they probably don’t have one, as these services offer mainly English movies and shows. Netflix only recently announced that they’ll be including movies and shows in other languages and multiple subtitles for movies and shows that are in English.
How can hotels improve the in-room experience of international business guests?
If you know your guests’ languages, export that from your system or export their emails, and send them an email asking them what they’d like to watch, and what is their preferred language. Then look at the data and see what are the most important nationalities, languages and preferences of your business guests. The next step speak with your hotel TV solution provider, and ask them to find and send you relevant content in these languages or with subtitles in these languages.
Once they set it up for you, email every new business guest you get (or include it in your Ôthank you for booking with us’ and Ôpre-arrival’ email templates), and let them know that you offer these choices so they can benefit from that. If you don’t have a TV solution provider than can do that, you can search for hotel TV solutions available for your location that fit your budget. The cost of these solutions is very reasonable, if you look at what you’ll get back from that.
What are the benefits of doing the extra mile for your hotel’s international business guests?
It generates a much higher guest satisfaction. It creates a sense of personalized ÒluxuryÓ service. They’ll become loyal repeat guests. They’ll leave better reviews in their language online, which will attract more business guests who speak that language and search for hotels online. They refer your hotel as they’ll share their experience with their co-workers and peers.
By Akis Laopodis
Akis Laopodis is CEO of Brainsift, which is a two-sided platform for hospitality decision makers and hospitality solution vendors. The company is a free platform that helps hospitality businesses discover, compare and choose the right suppliers and partners for growing their bookings and improving their operations.ÊBrainsift,Êbased in Greece,Êdoes that through free resources for hotelÊand accommodation owners and managers. The resources are available in various formats such as educational content, live sessions and performance tools. Brainsift offers solutions that help companies who want to reach and work with hotels and accommodations in an easy affordable and scalable manner.