It’s all about the trends. That is if you really want to maximize profits at your hotel, it is critical to exploit current consumer trends to maximize profit potential. After all you don’t want to be putting all your sales and marketing dollars to attract business that doesn’t exist. So we went through the trouble of deciphering all the critical business drivers so you won’t have to and shared our intelligence at this week’s BITAC Purchasing & Design West with our sold out crowd.
Here’s the nitty-gritty of what you need to know; Business travel is expected to be up in 2014 with total Spending Up 7.2 percent and reaching$288.8 billion says the GBTA BTI Outlook for the United States and group travel spending should increase by7.2 percent to $124.1 billion on a1.5 percent increase in trips.
But the two biggest groups hoteliers should be thinking about are moms and Millennials. Did you know that mom is 30 percent more likely than Dad to determine what the family will do for vacation and she is also 60 percent more likely than Dad to decide how vacation money will be spent? Or that Millennials are the fastest growing segment for travel spending and dictate hundreds of billions in spending and are at nowhere near peak spending?
Those attending this week’s BITAC got the inside scoop on how to maximize their business and also got to vote on their opinions regarding the trends as well.
For those not in the know, BITAC is the industry leading one-on-one meetings and relationship building event. Taking place at the Hotel Del Coronado, the 44th BITAC event attracted the ultimate group of insiders and decision makers representing leading and forward thinking companies. And they’re all here to come together at BITAC to problem solve, network, sign deals and exchange ideas to move forward the quality of experiences for hotel guests, while adding profits to the bottom line. There’s even time to cut loose, be social and network in a luxurious and relaxed environment. The next can’t miss BITAC will be December 8-10 and focus on upper echelon Owners who will come together at The Breakers in Palm Beach, FL.
But here at BITAC Purchasing & Design West, we wanted to really understand what the BITAC brain trust was thinking. So we utilized our advanced real-time polling system to ask the sold out crowd what is on their minds regarding current business drivers and other critical profit making trends.
Here is what attendees were thinking this week:
What part of the industry cycle is your company in?
Optimism - 68.0%
Thrill - 20.0%
Greed - 2.0%
Relief - 10.0%
Depression - 0.0%
What is the number one business driver at hotels you own/manage or sell to?
Leisure - 44.3%
Business - 49.2%
Group ¬- 6.6%
Have you taken a stay-cation during the last two years?
Yes 33 47.1%
No 37 52.9%
What are your plans for your main break in 2014?
Expensive vacation somewhere exotic - 71.2%
A thrifty adventure close to home - 19.2%
Go stay at a relative’s house - 5.8%
Stay-cation - 3.8%
Who is the main leisure travel decision maker in your household?
Mom - 64.3%
Dad - 28.6%
Kids - 1.4%
Kids influence mom - 4.3%
Kids influence dad - 1.4%
Is your hotel company doing anything to attract mom's attention?
We advertise directly to mom’s sensibilities - 15.0%
We advertise to kids to influence mom - 12.5%
We do not specifically focus on mom - 72.5%
What is your perception on the state of group business in hotels?
Rising slowly - 72.7%
Rising rapidly - 21.2%
Declining slowly - 3.0%
Declining fast - 3.0%
On average how many mobile devices are being used per room?
1 - 3.3%
2 - 30.0%
3 - 53.3%
4 - 10.0%
5 - 0.0%
6 - 3.3%
In what areas do your guests make the most use of mobile technology?
Making reservations - 57.8%
Concierge service and spa bookings - 4.4%
Discovering area attractions - 35.6%
Ordering F&B - 0.0%
Guests don't use mobile tech very much - 2.2%
Are you planning to change next year's marketing budget to attract more of the growing international travel market?
Yes, by more than 30 percent - 22.2%
Yes, but by less than 30 percent ¬- 36.1%
No, I'm actually devoting more to the domestic market next year - 16.7%
We're not making any changes - 25.0%
When does your hotel see the most reservations come in?
Same day - 4.2%
Same week - 45.8%
Two to three weeks - 35.4%
Four weeks or more - 14.6%
When do you typically make hotel reservations?
Same day - 1.7%
Same week - 25.4%
Two to three weeks - 49.2%
Four weeks or more - 23.7%
What does the typical hotel guest (not big groups) think about sustainability?
They don’t think about it all - 10.8%
They care but don’t make hotel stay decisions because of it - 59.5%
All things being equal they choose a sustainably focused hotel - 21.6%
They will stay a sustainably focused hotel whenever possible - 8.1%
How important is a sustainability strategy to your company?
Extremely - 22.7%
Somewhat - 53.0%
Not yet sure - 16.7%
We have no interest - 7.6%
What percent of your business is focused on millennial traveler?
10% or less - 17.1%
20% or less - 17.1%
30% or less - 43.9%
40% of less - 12.2%
50% or less - 7.3%
More than 50% - 2.4%
Are you changing your company’s approach to design to focus on millennial travelers?
Yes, it is a big focus - 12.2%
Yes, it is small focus - 48.8%
No - 29.3%
Now that you mention it, we should - 9.8%
What do you think the millennial traveler cares about most?
True high speed internet access - 67.8%
The lobby - 5.1%
A sharply designed guestroom - 16.9%
Healthy food - 5.1%
Great workout room - 5.1%