Of the 488 million business trips taken yearly, women business travelers comprise 46% of them. How does this demographic shift affect the travel industry? Well, in ways that you probably can’t imagine.
Women are influencing improvements in hotels, airlines and car rental companies from which all business travelers can appreciate and benefit. Let’s take safety, as one example. All travel venues are exhibiting a heightened sensitivity to their travelers’ personal safety. More than ever before, airport and rental car parking garages are well lit with working security cameras and on-duty attendants at all hours. Businesswomen traveling aren’t sent off to the far-flung, less visible corners of the parking garages to retrieve their rental cars when a vehicle parked closer and in the same vehicle class will do.
Flight attendants will tell you, they are in the “business of saving lives, first and foremost.” To that end, protecting vulnerable passengers from predators includes watching for female passengers who seem uncomfortable with the too-friendly, too-interested strangers sitting next to them. It isn’t difficult to read the body language. Seat reassignments aren’t unusual.
How do enlightened hotels ensure women traveling for business’ safety? They book female travelers on floors two through seven, and typically never the ground floor. They use discretion, never announcing a woman’s room number aloud as they hand off the room key. They do their best to not book female travelers at the end of a long, empty hallway, or on a floor requiring a lengthy elevator ride alone. The hallways are well lit. Room keys actually work on the first try. The rooms have double-locked doors. The concierge or valet ensures women travelers are only using trusted, reputable taxi services.
When it comes to hotel amenities, women have ushered in a movement of much-needed improvements. Everyone can benefit from full-length mirrors and better lighting in the bathrooms. Hand steamers are preferable to irons. Hotels have elevated the quality of the lotions and hair care products. The blow dryers are no longer anemic. Bed linens are softer. The refrigerators include healthy snacks, as do the menus, which include vegetarian options. Wi-Fi is free and encrypted.