Even in times of economic worry, organizations are still trying to make improvements in order to please the customer, rather than making cuts to save money. The hospitality industry is one of them. Despite the crippling effects of the down economy and unpredictable stock market, business travel is on the rise, and hotels are trying to win over travelers as they jump from city to city for work.
The Chicago Tribune reported that hotel chains were looking at a number of different factors that travelers expected when staying at a hotel. Wi-Fi was the number one request from guests, followed closely by a quality workout facility and free breakfast. So hotels are starting to offer these amenities at a reasonable price point, rather than increasing rates and charging guests more for these extras. The hope is that customer loyalty will increase, bringing more guests to the hotels. The more business they get, the easier it will be to offer these kinds of benefits, without worrying about extra costs.
The question is whether or not business will improve, and if it does not, will hotels have to start pushing costs up in order to balance out offering free breakfast and Wi-Fi? Only time will really tell, but right now, hotels are investing in their product, hoping to secure loyal customers and keep people from migrating to other companies. Targeting business travelers is the main objective, because these people travel so frequently, they want to know they have a hotel they can trust. But since business travelers are always moving, hotels have to keep things fresh, offering comfortable benefits and amenities to help travelers relax for a moment during their hectic lives.
It's nice to see that hotels will go the extra mile to please their clients, rather than nickel and dime them on small fees like breakfast or parking or internet. I hope this continues as the economy slowly improves, and even after it's gotten back to it's pre-downturn state.