Catering to Women: Hotel Design and Amenities
What do women want? It would seem that list is pretty specific when it comes to the hospitality industry.
By Emily Williams-Knight President, Kendall College | June 16, 2013
Since the 1990s, hotels and other hospitality related businesses have embraced the idea that catering to the female traveler is not only important but essential to stay ahead. Travel agencies solely dedicated to female travelers, travel packages and new design and amenities popped up at some of the best hotels around the United States. Both successful and some not so successful travel campaigns and marketing strategies were used to tap into this demographic. More women were taking on positions that required them to travel for work, traveling solo for leisure and planning family vacations. Basically, more women were and certainly are deciding where and how to spend money on travel.
Today, that momentum has not slowed down. The industry has evolved significantly throughout the past few decades, moving away from putting a pink bow on the establishment to indicate that it was female-friendly to developing savvy and unique marketing and aesthetic approaches to meet the demands of this demographic. While initially fearful that catering to female travelers would alienate men, hotel management quickly learned that the requirements put in place by female travelers actually improves the overall performance of the hotel and creates a better guest experience.
With more female business travelers emerging and leisurely spending habits often made by women, the hotels that can offer solid design features combined with creative marketing and services will see a successful return on investment for years to come.
Ready to Spend
Catering to women in the hospitality industry is certainly not a novel idea, but the approach has changed, along with female spending power and decision making. The recession of the past several years often had hotel companies questioning how they could best secure guests and provide an experience that was cost-effective yet luxurious. It became apparent that if the hospitality industry was going to survive during this time, hotels and businesses needed to assess who was traveling and who was making the decisions to spend.
What did they find? A steady increase of female business travelers hit the market, with 51 percent of the 2011 careers within the management, professional and related occupations (finance, etc.) industry held by women, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the recession impacted business travel spending, the outlook for 2013 is positive. According to the Global Business Travel Association, companies are expecting to spend $266.7 billion on business travel on 2013, a 4.5 percent increase since last year.