The accommodation conundrum - business travel hotel preferences differ by country of origin

1 July, 2019

Accommodation providers need to offer a wide menu of options for business travellers with notably different hotel experiences being demanded by guests, according to new research commissioned by RoomIt by CWT, the hotel distribution division of the B2B4E travel management platform.

The survey compiled responses late last year from 660 business travellers from nine countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) to identify what influences them to choose a particular hotel during the booking process.

The results revealed that globally, having access to Wi-Fi (84%), room rate (81%), distance from business site (81%) and breakfast (79%) are the most important influences. But, there were also some clear trends by business travellers from specific countries. Examples include, business travellers from the UK and Germany being swayed by having access to a health club (44%), while loyalty programmes proved most important to those from Mexico and Germany (46%).

“We continually work to understand business travellers’ specific wants and needs so we can offer the accommodations that will improve their satisfaction,” says Scott Hyden, SVP and chief experience officer of RoomIt. “We know that you have to get the basics right in order to maximise compliance and reduce travel spend.”

There are several other notable findings - business travellers from Germany are most likely to be persuaded by photos (56%) compared to other countries while travellers from France are the least likely to experiment with new hotel brands (26%). Meanwhile, travellers from Mexico are less likely to use their company’s booking tools (24%), compared with those from Canada (35%). Additionally, German travellers rely most on having someone else book their travel (41%) or going offline to speak with a travel agent (40%) compared to US travellers (27% and 22%, respectively).

The findings show that overall, business travellers are more likely to stay at upper midscale to upper upscale properties, but again there are key regional differences. Travellers from India and Australia are more likely to stay in luxury properties (35% and 25%), while Mexican, American and Italian travellers are more likely to stay in upper midscale properties (35%, 32% and 27%, respectively).

Globally, when asked what attributes best describe the ideal hotel accommodation, the survey results show that the hotel and service are stronger drivers than amenities, image or location. Quality (44%), trustworthiness (38%), convenience (40%), quietness (30%), affordability (28%) and cosiness (28%) resonate the strongest. Regionally, quality is most important to travellers from India (63%), the US (44%), Canada (40%), and the UK (39%). French travellers prefer cosiness and quiet the most (49% and 39%), while travellers from Mexico ranks trustworthiness the highest (54%).