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Reinventing Corporate Travel

It’s uncertain when we will stop talking about the impact the covid-19 pandemic had on the global business and leisure tourism sector. But, what is certain is that with recovery well on track, new approaches to travel, and new expectations on the part of travellers are part of covid’s legacy.

If tourism service providers are going to evolve in the new post-covid environment, there are a number of reinventions required in their service offerings.

Bleisure travel – the best of both worlds

Bleisure travel is a phrase that has been coined post-covid and refers to the combination of business and leisure travel in one trip. As corporate companies begin again to sanction both domestic and overseas travel for meetings and conferences, travellers are taking advantage of the opportunity and are more likely to tack on a pre or post tour of the destination than they might have done previously.

In a city like Cape Town, which attracts a lot of tourists, we want to be able to take advantage of this trend and to offer the best of both worlds to our guests. One of the ways of doing this is to forge partnerships with other facilities to offer tailor-made packages of accommodation plus visits to local sites, and restaurants, for example. 

Providing technical excellence

That many meetings and conferences have gone ‘hybrid’ makes it imperative that accommodation providers are covered when it comes to integrated technology. Expectations that wifi connectivity and speeds will be seamless, and that delegates from around the world will be able to dial in and join meetings online, with excellent audio-visual facilities, goes without saying. Hotels must ensure that they meet every technical expectation of local and overseas guests if they are to attract and retain today’s corporate traveller.

Safety and security

More and more corporates, post-covid, are ensuring that they are able to manage their employees’ safety when they are travelling on behalf of the company. This in turn means that they will be looking to book with service providers who are certified, registered and compliant with the relevant regulatory bodies and who can ensure security at access points, provide secure internet networks and more. 

Being able to provide safe accommodation and secure onsite services is of particular importance when a hotel is receiving high profile and VIP guests. Cape Town is host to many large conventions and important international delegations, and hotels have to know how to manage these guests efficiently and discreetly. Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront has been privileged over the years to have been the hotel of choice for a number of VIP guests who must be assured of the best service and highest levels of privacy.

Environmental responsibility as a prerequisite 

As part of the corporate procurement processes, we are finding that travel is also now under the same scrutiny as companies’ entire value chain. Even as rates are being squeezed, hotels must look at ensuring they provide maximum value for money to warrant room rates. Hotels in the 5-star market need to be able to ensure that their offering matches their room rate, with excellent service and amenities. Whether the guest is local or international and staying for one or two nights or for a week, they are all looking for the best return on investment. 

Additionally, we have found that accounting for environmentally responsible business practices is increasingly a requirement of the corporate travel sector both from domestic companies and more especially those from overseas. Being able to demonstrate that accommodation facilities are environmentally aware and that operations are managed in a sustainable way will be a differentiator for guests.  

The changes in corporate travel patterns and behaviour can only have a positive impact on travel service providers. Remaining relevant, providing value for money, tracking trends and meeting new and changing expectations are critical in today’s travel landscape.

If this means upping our game, we should welcome the opportunity. Hospitality businesses must consistently strive to manage guests’ ever-changing expectations and from guest surveys we believe that we are exceeding those expectations every day.