When it comes to travel, women move the needle. How much? According to JourneyWoman’s 2022 TravelReady survey, quite a bit.
Thirty-six percent of the study’s respondents said they planned to travel alone in 2022. Plus, when we travel, we spend — around $3,000 per week, according to a 2020 report. Women are enthusiastic travelers, willing to pour time, energy, and money into building fabulous, culture-rich, and photogenic excursions.
Naturally, we also want our health and safety needs to be prioritized, especially by hotel and lodging providers. When asked to elaborate, 75% of JourneyWoman’s 2022 survey respondents said that safety for women and solo travelers was a top consideration factor in choosing a tour, accommodation, or retreat.
No demographic embraces travel like women, but we can be a vulnerable group when venturing into the unknown. An integral element of safe travel for women must be feeling secure at the hotels where we choose to lay our heads and keep our personal belongings.
How hotels can give women travellers peace of mind
Many women experience hassle-free travel each year, but it’s because we do the work and the research to make it happen. While researching all the sights and sounds a destination offers, we must be just as sure we’re preparing to live our best lives safely.
All we ask is to be met halfway and see safety measures in hotels that put us at ease. Here are some places to start:
1. Promote proactivity
Hotel security should extend beyond high-end surveillance equipment and hotel room safety devices. Prioritizing women’s safety on your property should also include proactive steps that are low on tech but high in convenience and courtesy.
These gestures can begin as soon as a guest gets to the front desk. For example, don’t say the room number out loud after check-in. Point it out on the paperwork or write it down on a concierge’s business card instead. This can help us feel like we have privacy and a direct line to a trusted professional if we need something urgent.
Staff can also escort guests to their rooms, ensure the spaces are secure before entering, point out emergency exits, make sure in-room security devices are operational, and check the locks. Finally, they can make women aware of any private transportation options the property might offer should a guest want to explore the town. These gestures might seem like common sense, but offering them from check-in to check-out can help calm women’s nerves about hotel stays.
2. Train your staff to spot signs of stress
The hotel’s responsibility is to implement safety measures to avoid adding stress or worry for women solo travelers. To be better stewards of safe travel for women, provide proper training for employees to recognize red flags and intervene when necessary.
Basic safety training does not need to be lengthy or complicated. Regular walk-throughs of common areas can bring potential safety issues to light. Is someone — a guest or an outsider — agitating a woman staying on-site? Is a suspicious character lurking nearby and making someone uncomfortable?
Help your staff identify and assess those issues quickly, then train them on the hotel’s protocols for handling them. Your team will feel more prepared, and women guests will see the premium you put on our safety.
3. Keep an eye on guests who’ve had a few too many drinks
Is your hotel bar a common area for mingling? Are there popular nightclubs nearby you recommend to guests? In both cases, keep an eye on guests who might be too under the influence.
If you do have a hotel bar, teach service staff how to politely stop serving guests who appear highly inebriated. Then, the concierge or someone else on staff can offer to safely return them to their rooms before a disturbance happens or any predatory behavior occurs.
In 2022, women will be traveling at their own pace. We are ready to book trips and see the world again, but hotel management and staff must prioritize ensuring guest safety. It doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Protect your guests, and they will keep coming back.
About the author
MJ Vogel is the marketing director at Xchange of America, which is leading the charge in making foreign currency exchange more convenient and efficient for travelers planning their next international excursions.