Making business travel equal

Business travel providers need to understand that different travellers have different requirements and expectations. Whether this is caused by gender, religion or culture diversity is increasingly an important consideration in the business travel market.

How far does your business travel provider, be that an airline, agent, hotel or serviced apartment manager cater for your business needs? A recent survey by Carlson Wagonlit highlights the different considerations and behaviours women business travellers have. These will, and should, have an impact on how providers communicate their offer and provide a service for different travellers.

Safety is often a talking point when women and travel is discussed. Women obviously want to feel as safe and secure as possible when they are travelling. They want secure accommodation with safety measures that help keep them feeling confident when in a city they don’t know. Many women are put off travelling alone, even though almost a third of women feel safe when abroad for business, but the accommodation available doesn’t suit them. It is not only security features women highlight as being inadequate. Whether looking for extended stay or short let accommodation women also want different facilities and have different requirements from their accommodation than men. Compared with men, women prefer different facilities including a hairdryer and spacious bathroom. Just 15% prefer to travel with a companion so they need privacy and amenities to support sole travel.

A quarter of women business travellers fly more now than they did five years ago and women tend to plan their business travel further in advance than men, with 39 per cent making arrangements less than four weeks in advance compared to 20 per cent of men, who tend to plan just a few days ahead. Also women business travellers are now growing, as they begin to occupy leadership roles in their respective companies the need to travel abroad is becoming even more apparent. This means it is a growing market and an increasing concern. Women business travellers now make up around 40% of the market. For business travel providers it is important to realise this is a target market that is organised, growing and needs to be catered for.

The research highlights the importance of an appreciation of the varying needs of men and women business travellers, however that doesn’t mean one group should be favoured over another.

At Clarendon, we are committed to supporting diversity and make every extra effort to accommodate both men and women business travellers. We understand that women have different needs, therefore we ensure security is of the up most importance in all of our properties. For example, we have higher security then hotels, as we don’t have open lobbies where strangers can come in and out unnoticed and each room has secure locks. We can also provide added equipment such as hairdryers, which can be essential for women (and men!) business travellers. Our aim is to ensure that all travellers are comfortable and are not put off by the security concerns of staying in a big city such as London.

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