Business travel poll 2000: Know your client - or his boss
Hotels and airlines are gearing up for a bumper year of business travel. What are their customers most looking for? Euromoney polled more than 160 business executives on where they like to stay, city by city, and their favourite - and least favourite - airline. By Christina White.
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A recent study by American Express shows that the number of international business trips will increase this year by 29%. Airlines and hotels that serve business centres will all compete for these travellers' patronage. So what services will hotels provide to win customers' loyalty? And whom are they ultimately aiming to please, the traveller, or his budget controller?
Technology is an important factor in the service industry, and hotels and airlines consistently add to the services they offer. The Westin St Francis in San Francisco has installed wireless phones in all the rooms. The guest can carry the phone anywhere in the hotel, including the business centre and the health club, and still receive calls.
Guests at the Shangri-La in Hong Kong can use the video and satellite conferencing facilities in all the rooms. At the Four Seasons in New York all of the rooms are soundproof. The Oriental in Singapore offers translation services for business travellers. Yet as hotels continually add amenities, it could be something more basic that appeals to the guests.
The location of the hotel appears to be as important as the features within.