Skift Report: The Rise of Female Business Travelers

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  • 1. The Rise of Female Business Travelers Female Business Travelers are poised to make up a significant share of the Business Travel Market. They already control 60% of the wealth in the U.S. and influence 85% of all purchasing decisions. Women are high-tech, mobile, connected, and social. They like to book on the move and represent 58% of online sales. Learning how to attract and retain the loyalty of Female Business Travelers is key for travel brands who want to maintain their competitive edge by getting ahead of this influential trend. SKIFT REPORT #18 2014 This material is protected by copyright. Unauthorized redistribution, including email forwarding, is a violation of federal law. Single-use copy only. If you require multiple copies, contact us at trends@skift.com. By Marisa Garcia and Skift Staff WWW.SKIFT.COM Sponsored by
  • 2. 2 Awesome conference, lady! It’s the pimped-out meeting facilities here. I mean, 800 wireless access points?! Learn to take a compliment, Cindy. You webcast like a sick-ass boss. She’s Here On Business
  • 3. The Rise of Female Business Travelers SKIFT REPORT #18 2014 3 buuteeq’s cloud-based digital marketing software helps hoteliers manage their brand and drive bookings with responsively designed websites, robust user analytics, and intuitive content-management tools—all on one fully extensible, open platform. Numerous CRSs, channel managers, social media channels, and PMS solutions already integrate with buuteeq. The company is headquartered in Seattle WA and has customer service and product development teams in Palo Alto CA, Santiago Chile, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. About us
  • 4. Companies from across the travel cycle ­— corporate travel agents, airlines, car rental companies, hotels, meetings/conventions — are changing to meet the needs of female business travelers. We’ll look at these changes and analyze the scope of this trend, considering the features of product and design which matter most to women including critical matters of security, and other travel experience features. We will also review how to develop advertising and mar- keting strategies which will appeal to women, and focus on how women use technology for travel planning and bookings, and how actively women rely on social media, from sharing travel intelli- gence to rating hotels. • Women represent just over half the world’s population and 60% of the wealth in the U.S. • Women influence 85% of all purchasing decisions, and account for 58% of online sales. • 47% percent of women who travel, travel for business. If we believe the advertising of most sectors in the travel industry from hotels to transport, then business travel is the exclusive do- main of suit and tie wearing, greying white men — and Asian and Middle Eastern men, too, from time to time — who appear to be pondering the weighty matters of life. When women appear in these advertisements it is often as the companion of the man in the commercial, or as the wife this busi- nessman comes home to, usually with a golden-haired daugh- ter running to greet him. On occasion, this presentation varies to include a non-caucasian couple and the child running to greet the father is sometimes a boy. These same commercials run on endless-loop at hotels on their branded channel, often already playing when the business traveler arrives in the room, disregarding the reality that increasing num- bers of the business travelers checking into those rooms are women who do not see themselves or their lives in the “idealized” world of those commercials. Executive summary The Rise of Female Business Travelers SKIFT REPORT #18 2014 5
  • 5. This stereotype is perpetuated in traditional media and reflected in the products and services offered and in the design of the facilities. Breaking away from this stereotype, and dealing with the traveler profile in an objective manner that acknowledges the rise of women as business travelers, will benefit travel brands. There are significant business opportunities available to smart brands who cater to the needs of this female business traveler mar- ket segment. To help savvy travel brands capitalize on the opportu- nity this demographic represents, we will focus on the needs of fe- male business travelers, present some examples of product features which will be of added-value to the female business traveler, and suggest advertising and technology strategies for brands which want to increase their appeal to women who travel. The Rise of Female Business Travelers SKIFT REPORT #18 2014 6