Female solo travellers make up a significant portion of hotel guests across the globe. The female business travel market, in particular, continues to grow. This begs the question – are hoteliers doing all they can to cater to the needs of their guests that are also female business travellers?
The World of Female Business Travel, a white paper published by business travel management specialists, CT Business Travel, addresses the topic. According to the results of a survey conducted for the white paper and delivered to UK female business travellers, safety is a big concern of women who are required to travel for their work.
- More than 60% of survey respondents stated that they would avoid countries that are hotspots for dangerous activity
- 50% would avoid areas of political unrest, and 46% would avoid areas with high crime rates
- Nearly 50% of the women surveyed admitted that they wouldn’t know what to do if they encountered a travel disruption or dangerous situation when travelling for business.
With the knowledge that safety is the priority of female business travellers, what steps can hotels take to remove even some of that worry when women must travel solo for work?
Put safety first
When welcoming a female business traveller into your hotel, you should ensure that you are able to show that their safety has been taken into consideration. Most women prefer not to stay in a ground floor room if they are travelling on their own, so where possible it would be best to ensure any reservation made in the name of a solo female traveller is automatically not booked in a ground floor room. Furthermore, all parking areas should be well lit and close in distance to the hotel, and hotels and elevators should all have cameras and be well lit.
Hotel policy should also state that employees do not announce guest rooms out loud during check-in, or when paying tabs in the bar or restaurant areas. This is even more important for women who are travelling on their own, as it can be a concern if someone overhears their room number. Some hotels are leading the way and offering specific services especially for female business travellers, like spa extras and female-only floors.
Hoteliers must always practice flexibility when trying to accommodate the needs of their guests, regardless of gender. However, it can sometimes be even more important to do everything possible to try and be flexible when a solo female business traveller makes a request that would make them feel safer.
For example, if a female customer would like to request a room change for safety concerns or requires curbside pickup from a trusted car service, hoteliers should aim to be as flexible as possible to ensure that the guest feels safe. Female business travellers are encouraged to use their best judgement to make sure they stay and feel safe at all stages of their journey, and for them not to feel safe at their hotel is not acceptable. It is the responsibility of hoteliers to provide a safe environment.
Think about the extras
Safety isn’t the only area where hotels can work harder to meet the expectations of female business travellers. When thinking about amenities, hotels should take into consideration the preferences of solo female hotel guests.
Female travellers tend to be more discerning when it comes to products on offer, so think about the quality of the toiletries on offer, as well other extras like hair straighteners and speedy laundry services. Furthermore, it’s worth offering additional menu items for room service and in hotel restaurants. Women often prefer eating in their room to sitting in a restaurant alone and the hotel may even consider offering lighter meal options. Concerning hotel restaurants, female travellers often like to sit where they feel most comfortable when dining alone, so it is good practice to ask at check-in whether they have a seating preference. It is very much a personal preference.
Women who travel for their work are an important part of the market and hotels should take the time to ensure that they are doing everything possible to cater to this fast-growing demographic.