April 08, 2022
By Cvent

As corporate transient travel picks up, hoteliers, sales directors, and revenue managers are working hard to attract business travellers, often facing stiff competition from their comp set.

In fact, according to the latest Travel Manager Report: Europe June 2022 Edition, three quarters (75%) of respondents expect volumes in 2022 - defined as the number of hotel stays booked in a specified period - to eclipse the levels of 2019.

In this blog post, we discuss uncovering business travel demand, capturing new business, appealing to travel managers, and a variety of strategies and tips for boosting business travel.

Discover effective ways to attract business travellers and captivate travel managers

14 strategies hotels can use to attract more business travellers

  1. Streamline the click-to-click online booking process.
  2. Ensure your website is accurate, high-quality, and easy to navigate.
  3. Host site tours, networking events, and local business meetings; invite the community.
  4. Launch an online campaign showcasing your hotel’s best business-friendly features.
  5. Include content that appeals to business travellers in social media and brand campaigns.
  6. Partner with the Chamber of Commerce to host a local or regional event.
  7. Offer shuttle service to area businesses.
  8. Advertise exclusive perks for locally-negotiated accounts (early check-in, complimentary laundry, or valet parking).
  9. Create an advertising campaign targeting business travellers with personalised discounts and offers.
  10. Support local companies at ribbon cuttings, fundraisers, and other events.
  11. Attend networking events with area business leaders to foster local connections.
  12. Run video and search ads that target business travellers directly. 
  13. Send retargeted advertisements to prospective guests who visited your hotel site but didn’t make a reservation.
  14. Market your hotel as the perfect destination for bleisure travellers. A booming business travel trend, bleisure travel (business + leisure) demand continues to grow. In a 2019 survey conducted Great Hotels of the World, 75% of respondents confirmed they had extended a business trip for leisure in the last year. In fact, most respondents had done so more than once.

Want to attract business travellers? Here's how

How to capture the attention of travel managers

In addition to targeting transient travellers directly, hotels can attract business travellers by successfully connecting with travel managers.

  • Identify target travel programmes and buyer corporations to improve lead visibility. Travel managers have the ability to peruse hotel accommodations in a flash through supplier networks, global distribution systems, and preferred venue directories. Facing so much competition, hotel sales and revenue managers work hard to put their marketing dollars and revenue efforts where they matter most. Target travel managers that manage high volumes of travel in your area; be where the buyers are.
  • Schedule RFP season prep and post-season analysis each year. Bring the sales and revenue team together to analyse the previous year’s negotiated account performance. Did any accounts fail to meet their guaranteed room night minimum? Do any rates need to be increased? What did you learn this past year that will factor into your future negotiated rate strategy? Overestimating room night production for an account can result in missed room nights, or even cause hoteliers to turn down one RFP in anticipation of high performance in another. 
  • Beat the competition by responding first; steal market share by proactively targeting nearby companies that need accommodations. Are you responding to leads before the competition, or are they beating you to it? What is the comp set offering that your hotel can’t? What do you have to offer that other area hotels don’t? Track the competition’s wins, losses, and turndowns. Watch for drastic changes in ADR index rankings, especially if competing hotels are dominating in occupancy. This could indicate that a large piece of business travel was accepted at a minimal rate.

12 strategies to attract travel managers

  1. Target the right travel managers to improve your lead visibility. Learning more about who they are, what they need and their challenges will help you here.
  2. Enhance your hotel SEO efforts to boost search engine results page (SERP) rankings and, in turn, exposure. 
  3. Publish content on major global distribution systems.
  4. Serve retargeted advertisements to travel managers via Google Ads, YouTube, and other online channels.
  5. Use your proposal to show travel buyers how your hotel meets their exact needs.
  6. Improve your corporate travel sales strategy by keeping track of competitor bids and adjusting your bids accordingly.
  7. As with local accounts, offer perks, added amenities, or early check-in privileges for travellers.
  8. Limit your number of annual blackout dates.
  9. Offer complimentary shuttle service for guests booked under the negotiated rate. 
  10. Promote flexible event and venue space. Offer virtual 3D photorealistic site tours and interactive floorplans travel managers can explore. Give them an opportunity to visualise what your property can offer.
  11. Offer double rewards points when travel managers book meeting space or guest reservations at their company’s previously-negotiated rate.
  12. Maintain a great reputation with all parties involed in your transient business. Word-of-mouth is a big player in tight-knit groups of travel buyers.

Top 6 findings from Travel Managers Report: Europe Edition June 2022

The results of the most recent Europe edition of our Travel Managers Report are a great way to learn about your transient buyers.

Cvent commissioned Censuswide, an independent research company, to survey 519 corporate travel decision-makers in several European markets.

  • Business travel is rebounding: Three quarters (75%) of respondents expect travel volumes in 2022 to eclipse the levels of 2019.
  • Sourcing across borders: More than two in three (69%) travel managers say they’re sourcing internationally, both within and outside of Europe, with those in Germany (80%) and France (76%) the keenest.
  • Budgets rise: A large majority (81%) of respondents expect their firm’s business travel budget per trip to increase in 2022, compared to spend levels of 2019.
  • Meeting post-COVID-19 needs: When asked to name their primary needs from hotels during the sourcing process, the top response is high-quality health and safety protocols (46%). This rises to more than half (55%) of respondents based in Spain.
  • Make room for dual and dynamic rates: Travel managers have become more interested in dual or dynamic rate offers from hotels. Almost two thirds (62%) of respondents say they are now more open to discussing these types of rates than they were in 2019.
  • Travel buyers also plan events: Nearly nine in 10 (88%) corporate travel managers are also involved in sourcing hotels for meetings and events.

For more stats and actionable insights, download the report.

Cvent Transient: Where travel buyers are

Cvent Transient helps hotels win corporate transient business and manage it more efficiently. With Cvent Transient, hotels can:

  • Discover more active transient buyers. 134K hotels received a Business Transient RFP in 2021.
  • Close more transient RFPs. Transient helps chains and properties transform from passive recipients of RFPs to a proactive organisation that targets and closes travel programmes worldwide.
  • Beat the competition. Using market insights from Cvent Transient Business Intelligence, the product showcases data from your hotel and competitive set to help you make better decisions during the RFP season and outsmart the competition.

Cvent Transient: Where your travel buyers are

Start attracting more business travellers to your hotel today.

Once you attract business travellers and loyal travel managers to your hotel, work hard to ensure guests are satisfied and look forward to returning. Remember, it's not just about bringing in the business — it's about keeping the business, too. 

Next up, check out 5 trends predicted in 2022 for hotel marketing.

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Cvent is a leading meetings, events, and hospitality technology provider with more than 4,500 employees and nearly 21,000 customers worldwide.

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