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Why Do Hotels Ask if Staying for Business or Pleasure?

A business man handing a piece of paper to the receptionist.

It is estimated that the average vacationer will spend $581 per person on a vacation in their own country, and over three thousand dollars per person on an international vacation. On the other hand, business travelers will spend approximately $949 per person on a trip within their country, and less than the average vacationer on an international trip. Money is the key reason that hotels want to know why you are booking there.

Your rates will be different, and how they treat your stay will be different as well. They will also market differently depending on the bulk of the travelers that they get in their hotel. They need to know to accommodate you appropriately overall.

Features of Business Travel

A business man wearing blue suit in the front desk.

Features of business travel are convenience, punctuality, and structure. When a business traveler seeks a booking, hotels know that they can’t mess around with these reservations. These are travelers that need a tight check-in and check-out, and they will prefer different amenities as well.

Corporate travelers typically have a very tight schedule, and will book their hotel stays according to their business needs. Their business needs, and amenities, will function around those schedules. Location will be important as well, and if not amenable to a business traveler’s needs, transportation from the hotel will be important as well.

In most cases of business travel, a company is paying for the trip. This doesn’t make it easier for hotels and instead makes it more difficult. They don’t want to lose a reputation to a corporate entity, and reputation is king in the hotel business.

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Another important feature of business travel is date flexibility, which they rarely have, if ever. A business traveler is not there for fun and does not have the leeway that a vacationer might. Many vacationers will not either due to airline tickets, but a business traveler is going to be fussy if they don’t get the dates that they want.

Features of Personal Travel

A couple holding their luggage on a hotel.

A person on a trip that is on vacation, or a family or group of friends, will have different needs than the business traveler. They will also want to do more in the hotel. These are the travelers that will be looking for pools and spa treatments, minibars in the rooms, good or affordable restaurants, and also transportation.

These travelers won’t care when the maid is popping by as much as the business traveler will. They might care, but their more flexible schedule is going to leave them a little more relaxed. The vacationer has different habits than the business traveler. Each kind of traveler is a guest in the building and needs to be treated like they are the only one.

How Rate Matters Between Travellers

A hotel breakfast in an island resort.

When hotels are booking for travelers, one of the reasons they need to know the purpose of the trip is for rates. Most business travelers will enjoy corporate rates and get discounts, and this is typically needed at the time of booking.

At the same time, vacationers are usually more concerned about the rate than a business traveler is. In many cases, this is because a company is paying for the business traveler and the traveler really doesn’t care. The business traveler is looking for other elements of the hotel experience when they are booking, whereas the rate could be a sticking point for the average vacationer.

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With corporate rates come corporate perks, and many a vacationer has tried to claim them when booking at a hotel. This is another reason why hotels need to know why you are booking the room.

Trying to say you are booking on a corporate plan is expected to backfire, as most corporate rates or plans have protocols that the hotels know about, that scamming guests don’t. Rates do matter for business or pleasure purposes, and most hotels will try to accommodate every need when it is reasonably provided.

Booking Dates for Travelers

A woman with her laptop making online reservation.

Another key difference between business and pleasure travelers is the amount of time they make when booking something. A vacationer is planning something exciting in their lives and typically does so months in advance. Some regulars at hotels will even book their annual vacation at the same hotel for the next year when they are checking out.

Business travelers do not plan that way. They may book their stay with a few days or even one night’s notice. They may not know until they get to work in the morning that they are traveling for work the next day, and their travel needs are going to be a little more rushed.

At the same time, they are going to have higher demands on amenities such as high-speed Internet and business services in the hotel.

The dates that a booking is made are significant to hotels, and they need to know what the purpose of the trip is for a wide range of reasons. Having a last-minute booking from a corporate traveler can cause a problem for a hotel, so they need to know how to accommodate that when the booking comes.

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It isn’t any different than having a last-minute guest show up at your home, or announce that they will. You will want them to come, but it’s going to cost you a little extra time, and maybe even resources, to get everything ready for them.