Women are taking over travel
Learning how to attract and retain the loyalty of female business travellers is crucial for travel businesses who want to maintain their competitive edge. And here’s why:
- Women represent just over half of the world’s population and already control 60% of the wealth and 85% of all purchasing decisions in the US;
- They are high-tech, mobile, connected, and social: they like to book on the move and represent 58% of all online sales;
- 47% of the women who travel, do so for business purposes.
The solo female traveller market has certainly boomed. A survey of 1,000 Australian travellers commissioned by Booking.com last year found two-thirds of Australian women have travelled abroad on their own, and 60% of those are planning to do so again in the next 12 months.
On the corporate front, technology giant Amadeus also puts female business travellers as one of the fastest growing sectors in travel. They are predicting a 400% increase in international business trips taken by women from selected Asia Pacific countries between now and 2030.
But what are female travellers looking for?
Back in the nineties, travel businesses started to pay special attention to female solo travellers, and the first female-only floors at hotels emerged. The concept however, did not entirely take off. Not only did hotel operators find it impractical to have rooms that could only be used by 50% of the population, but demand wasn’t exactly great either.
The reason behind the women only floors however, was a valid one. Still today security and comfort is top on the list of what women look for when travelling for business (or pleasure). Things such as a good location, accessibility, bolts in doors, matter.
- Social Media
They are also incredibly social media savvy, actively sharing information with their extended network of family, friends and colleagues. A recent survey on social media marketing by Women’s Marketing Inc. found that women dominate the lion’s share—85%—of all consumer activity in the United States. The same study also found 55% of women were more likely to purchase from brands that they follow on social media.
Smartphones are nowadays an integral part on gaining more bookings from female business travellers. The Women’s marketing Inc. report found that 46% of women look at their phones first thing in the morning, whereas only 31% check their laptops. This habit is especially common to women who work full-time. In other words, in order to reach this coveted market segment, your hotel’s website and booking engine should be mobile compatible—and fast.
Hotels that will ultimately succeed at marketing to female business travellers will be those who remember that people—women and men alike —like to be accommodated without feeling especially targeted or singled out. After all, the differences between male and female travellers are subtle at best. How hotels address these details should match this nuance.
Just because they are women, doesn’t necessarily mean they want to stay in an all-pink room or have fancy lotions in the bathroom or fresh flowers in the room everyday. No. Today’s business women are connected, technological and social media savvy. And they expect their hotel stay to accommodate for just that.
Feature image by Bureau of IIP via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Woman with Ipad image by plantronicsgermany via Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)
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