The right accommodation should leave you feeling refreshed and energised, ready to tackle your business engagements during the day – after all, that’s the whole purpose of the trip.
Oz Desai, general manager of Corporate Traveller, highlights a few important things you should consider when choosing the right accommodation for your next business trip:
A friction-free experience
The last thing you want to deal with when you’re travelling for work is a complicated hotel booking, poor in-room Wi-Fi or an interrupted night’s sleep in a street-facing room.
“Ultimately, great business accommodation is one that anticipates the needs of corporate travellers and removes any possibility of friction, from booking to check-out,” explains Desai.
Long gone are the days of the hotel business centre and its humming fleet of desktops. It’s 2020, and business travellers expect seamless integration of technology, available at their fingertips and uniquely suited to their needs.
“The consumerisation of corporate travel is definitely happening. Travellers are telling us that when they travel for leisure, they have amazing tools, but when it comes to company trips, they have nothing. That is why Corporate Traveller has invested in traveller-centric solutions to change the perception of corporate travel and make it exciting again,” said Desai.
Shared economy shortcomings
The sharing economy is great. It can give individuals more independence and choice. It promises an authentic and intimate experience and possibly even some cost savings. However, despite the appeal to ‘live like a local’ during your business trip, you may just want to save that swanky-looking sharing accommodation flat for your next leisure trip.
Booking through a sharing economy platform creates a much higher chance of creating traveller friction than when booking a vetted, in-policy property through a reputable travel management specialist.
Value beyond room rates
As the accommodation market hones in on consumer behaviour, it grows increasingly adept at adjusting pricing to maximise profits. In response, more travellers are turning to online sites to shop around in an attempt to find the ‘best’ price.
But as with the sharing economy, snapping up the lowest accommodation rate may not actually translate to the best value. Hidden costs related to changes and cancellations, as well as more limited payment options are common on these public platforms.
This is also where loyalty and reward programmes can pay off – literally. Book an in-policy accommodation through your travel management programme, and you may receive extras and upgrades that elude the online booking customer.
Duty of care
Choosing a reliable and safe hotel is an integral part of travel risk control and should be a key priority of your company’s duty of care policy. However, according to International SOS, only 24% of organisations implement safety and security checks for hotels or accommodation.
Mitigating accommodation-related risks may mean your company needs to dedicate time to extensive research or expensive assessments. However, the cost of not addressing accommodation-related risks could result in travellers feeling unsafe, being unwilling to travel, or perhaps even exposed to physical harm.
In South Africa, there is always an additional layer of risk and security, along with a higher incidence of fraud, that travellers and their managers must consider. Working with a reputable TMC that understands the local market and its risk profile will help you and your company navigate the nuances of travel in South Africa and the rest of the continent.
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