This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 3, 2007

Catering to Women Travelers

Looking at statistics from hotels and resorts worldwide, about "43 percent of business travelers were recorded to have been women". Moreover, according to American Airlines' director of women's sales and marketing, women are responsible for 70 percent of travel decisions.

We have long praised the Wyndham Hotel chain for its impressive array of amenities for women. (Joyce has even been quoted in the national press, talking about Wyndham's increased support services.) Last year, W Hotels, Wyndham's sister company, touted "Wonder Woman" hotel packages. In fact, the hotel chain realized more than half a million dollars in sales from these special offers that featured emergency makeup kits and dresses designed by Diane von Furstenberg for businesswomen who had to attend unexpected client meals.

Probably the most impressive development is at a single property is at the grand hotel Hamilton Crowne Plaza in Washington, DC, which last year reconstructed its 11th floor for "women-only". Incorporating common preferences of women, this limited-access floor features enhanced security, fashion magazines, novels by Daniele Steel and Nora Roberts, and slippers matched to their apparels. "The new decor embraces a residential style with a focus on elegance and comfort, and features all the amenities of a first class hotel."

Interestingly, two key characteristics distinguish women travelers from men. First, according to Marybeth Bond, a consultant who has advised hotels on marketing to women, "Women will take more time for themselves than men if they are traveling for business. Men will rush home, but women will stay an extra day." The second is that women appreciate the details, cleanliness in everything from the bed linen to the bath-showers. Hilton Garden and Hampton Inns, in particular, have recently enjoyed greater success by catering to women business travelers.

As more women graduate from colleges and take their places of leadership in corporate America and on the global stage, we will see more women traveling for business. . . and more smart travel marketers catering to their preferences. We will see not only hotels, but also airlines and other trip-related services offering increased benefits to women to win their business travel.

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