Have you noticed that most retailers, businesses, hotel and travel companies, as well as many product advertisements are focusing on driving business and encouraging people to travel. I have specifically noticed (probably because I am in the hospitality business) that almost every brand of hotel is focused on getting people to hotels via highways rather than skyways!
The Open Road is Open Again!
One recent product commercial suggested that, ‘if you think about the last few months, many of us have developed a new perspective on what is important.’ Maybe, this time of confinement will help us see just how connected we really are. And maybe, if we look at the big picture, it will remind us how amazing freedom is and show us how to make the best of a frightening situation.
Bravo to this company for jumping right out front of the pack and encouraging their consumers to not only get out and experience the world safely, but reignite their connection to travel.
While these commercials are primarily directed to leisure drive travel, my guess is it won’t be long before they start eroding these messages into the corporate world – specifically business travel. Companies are slowly starting to travel again, but many businesses are hesitant about flying and the risks the pandemic have imposed on that method of travel.’
It may be a while before you see the world from 35,000 feet again.
We happen to think the the view from 6 feet is even better.
Keeping all this in mind, I am encouraging all of our hotel sales people to focus on drive markets when looking for new business for our hotels. Look to businesses and companies within a 200 mile radius of your hotel.
- Research your customer data base and look for businesses that have corporate offices or satellite offices/warehouses/plants within a 200 mile radius of your hotel. That is about 4 hours drive time in ideal circumstances.
- Set up Google Alerts for companies in your area that you are currently doing business with, for companies you WANT to do business with, and for companies that are currently your competitive set’s customers. When you see news about any of these companies, reach out!
- Call on new car, motorcycle, and recreational vehicle dealerships. Work with them to develop packages, promotions, and other programs for people who are traveling to the area in search of a new vehicle. People will be driving more and may need to upgrade their vehicle.
- Call on car rental companies and partner with them for people who might be renting cars to go on business trips.
Reclaim the road trip!
There are many opportunities for our hotels, especially suburban properties, to grab on to drive market business. Think about why your hotel and location would be attractive to a business traveler and then customize your offering to include these reasons. Why not encourage road warriors to bring the family or a friend on their next business trip? Business travelers could extend their stay to include a wonderful drive through historic areas, trip to the beach, or simply enjoy downtime together in a safe and accessible hotel. Driving offers the convenience of families and friends traveling in one vehicle thereby saving the cost of airline tickets. “Bleisure” (business + leisure) travel eliminates the loneliness that solo business travel often causes – especially in the summer.
Happy drive time!