Omni Hotels Survey Reveals Secret Life of Business Travelers

| June 30, 2010

Road warriors find today's technology is essential to multi-tasking and life management while away. Business travelers ranked adjusting travel plans, making dinner reservations and checking into hotels as three of the top four "must-have" mobile applications, according to a recent survey from Omni Hotels & Resorts. The survey, which asked road warriors about mobile and social application preferences and usage, found that access to these tools were an integral part of time management on the road. Beyond taking care of travel matters, the survey also revealed that business travelers utilized mobile and social applications to take care of personal items, explore the local area and connect virtually with friends and family - making these tools invaluable. Checking the latest sports scores, updating Facebook, looking for the nearest coffee spot and tweeting were also highly rated in the recent survey. In addition, 61 percent of all business travelers were burning the midnight oil online - not on business from the day - but rather managing their personal lives remotely.ガ‚¬ã‚¬‚¬ã‚¬‚¬

The younger business traveler was even more focused on finding personal balance. Nearly one third of younger business travelers, ages 25 to 34, were more likely to order perks that make their hotel stay more comfortable; over 40% tweet about their travels and 65% enjoy updating Facebook to let everyone know where they are.

"Omni continues to launch innovative programs that appeal to the younger, affluent business traveler," says Tom Santora, chief marketing officer for Omni Hotels & Resorts. "This group is extremely adept at enjoying their careers while still finding personal time on the road, and it's increasingly important that we address their wants and needs."

Mobile multi-tasking
One thing was clear -- mobile applications are all about efficiency. Business travelers, who are inclined to order services from a hotel on a mobile device or computer, prefer things which will help travel go more smoothly. When asked which types of services they would order using their mobile device or computer, almost six in 10 business travelers said they would request a car service to the airport, while 48 percent said they would order anything that would allow them to multitask while on a business trip.

With the launch of new technology, ORION from GBCblue is an online ordering system utilized by Omni Hotels & Resorts where business travelers can fulfill many of their needs without ever looking away from their smart phone or laptop. Beginning in 2007, multi-tasking business travelers at the Omni Chicago Hotel, the Omni Mandalay in Dallas and the Omni Fort Worth Hotel have been able to logon to the system online to take care of a variety of needs, including room service, housekeeping or arrange for transportation. The offering has been so successful that it is being expanded into six more hotels and resorts this spring.

Also in 2007, Omni Hotels & Resorts was among the first hotel brands to launch online check-in, which is available on the company's mobile website and mobile applications available through Apple and Blackberry phones.

Complimentary hotel wi-fi
In 2003, Omni Hotels & Resorts began offering complimentary Wi-Fi access in guest rooms and public spaces to loyalty program members, and survey results indicated that free hotel Wi-Fi helps business travelers keep up with life and work.

When asked what hotel Wi-Fi is used for at night other than work, 61% of business travelers said they randomly surf the web, while others use the time to catch up with life outside of work. Also in the survey, 49% of business travelers pay bills online and 34% Skype or chat with their family at home.

A sizeable number 40% of business travelers check Facebook or other social networking Web site(s) on hotel Wi-Fi and 34% of travelers say they update their Facebook status to "let everyone know they are a road warrior."

All a Twitter
Just over half - 55% - of the business travelers surveyed said they never tweet while on a business trip, and only 11% said they tweet often. Among those who said they would tweet during a hotel stay, positive experiences, such as free room upgrades (70%) and free Wi-Fi (62%) were more likely to incent a tweet than negative ones. The survey found an overbooked hotel to be the one negative that would likely put guests in a tweeting mood.

Survey methodology
A total of 200 business travelers completed the online survey conducted from March 29-31 by KRC Research. To qualify, business travelers had to be at least 22 years old, travel overnight for business purposes at least six times a year, spend approximately $150 or more per night on a hotel room, not including taxes, and carry and/or use a personal communication device (PDA, Blackberry, iPhone, Google Android smartphone or other device) while traveling on business.

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