A recent Deloitte survey conducted on 1,000 business travellers found that 85% of business travellers expect to take more or the same number of trips in 2012 than in 2011. With business travel on the rise it is important we carefully consider how to make these customers as happy as possible. But how do we make them happy? What do business travellers really want?
Firstly, they want free internet access – and wireless internet access is even better. Our International Partner Relations and Rates Manager, Paddy, explains: “Free Wi-Fi is as important as free TV channels. Wi-Fi beats cable as you can connect your iPad, iPhone and laptop to the internet at the same time.” The Deloitte survey found that 77% of respondents see free internet as a very important factor when choosing accommodation.
The second and maybe slightly less obvious item loved by business travellers is plug sockets. Business travellers often have to work from their apartments so their desk will need more than just one plug socket nearby. In this electronic age it is not unusual to be at your laptop and need to charge your phone at the same. With so many electronic gadgets we need a lot of sockets to charge everything and it would be a bit inconvenient to have to carry around an extension lead to do so.
An on-site gym can also be a huge plus for business travellers. While tourists stay away from home to relax, business travellers do not. Many business travellers are often away from home for long periods of time so on-site fitness facilities can become a must. We currently have 426 properties with on-site fitness facilities with 71 of these being in London. Chichester Apartments, for example, have a fully equipped gym and an indoor swimming pool that guests can use for free.
It is also important for business travellers to have privacy and peace and quiet. Hotels have limited space and because rooms are so close together, business travellers are often disturbed by their neighbours. Serviced apartments provide a solution: many of our properties are secluded and provide business travellers with the privacy they need. For example, Arlington House Apartments are within a quiet cul-de-sac in London, allowing guests to completely forget they are in the middle of a busy city. Serviced apartments also provide more privacy options: guests can choose how frequently they would like their apartment serviced, for example, or a building with or without a reception.
An online survey by Popular Mechanics found that 37% of business travellers consider space to be the most important factor when choosing where to stay. While a typical hotel room consists of just a bedroom and a bathroom a serviced apartment provides you with a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen and a living room. Causeway Bay Apartments in Hong Kong, for example, provide guests with all the space they could need.
Paddy also mentioned a few extras that he feels make business travel that little bit easier: “Decent coat hangers on a rail high enough to hang an adult’s suit without the lower part being crumpled on a shelf below, an iron and ironing board for pressing suitcase-creased clothes, a safe, access to laundry facilities and fluffy towels are always welcome.”