Differences Between Business and Leisure Travelers

November 9, 2017

A hotel’s business mix is commonly comprised of a different percentage of segments, such as business and leisure travelers. These segments of travelers are two separate entities that have different wants, needs and travel patterns. A better understanding of your business mix of leisure and business travelers can ultimately lead to more success for your hotel if action is taken according to their preferences. Here are some important points to understand about business and leisure travelers and a few ways for hoteliers to cater to these two segments. 


Understanding Business Travelers:

  1. Location is key: While traveling for business, travelers are at the beck and call of scheduled meetings, presentations, etc.; which is precisely why a hotel’s location is one of the top priorities for business travelers.

  2. The need to be constantly connected: Naturally, business travelers are constantly using their mobile phone or other devices to remain connected with their clients and colleagues during their business trips. Being able to access their email, join a video meeting or open large file attachments quickly and efficiently is extremely important to the business traveler segment. Hotels that don’t offer fast WiFi or any internet access at all, would not be an ideal place for business travelers.

  3. Make more loyal hotel guests: Due to the higher frequency of travel and less time spent on the booking process, business travelers have a higher tendency to stick with certain hotels that meet their criteria compared to leisure travelers. In fact, 65% of business travelers belong to a hotel loyalty program, according to a recent study from Google.

  4. Emphasize the necessity for all-inclusive amenities: Hotels that offer all of the necessary amenities that business travelers need to prepare for their work in the morning is of great importance. Amenities like continental breakfast, a coffee maker, ironing board with iron and more necessary amenities for the morning prep are essential for business travelers.

 Understanding Leisure Travelers

  1. Generally more price sensitive: Unlike business travelers who generally spend more on their travels, leisure travelers tend to be more price sensitive than their business counterparts. According to Google’s 2014 Traveler Study, a majority of 63% of leisure travelers are price sensitive when deciding on which hotel to book with. Leisure travelers spend more time deciding on the most suitable hotel for their travels and also make a greater effort to find the best possible deal for their stay. To make it easier for guests to find the lowest and best price, providing a booking tool that allows for guests to search in real-time within their budget is extremely helpful to cater to leisure travelers.

  2. Strong consideration for reviews and recommendations: When deciding on a place to stay, leisure travelers turn to their family, friends, colleagues and online reviews for recommendations more so than business travelers who rely on company recommendations and also online reviews. As stated by Google’s Traveler Study, 82% of leisure travelers consider reviews to be very to somewhat important, compared to 77% of business travelers. For leisure travelers, a large amount of negative reviews removes a hotel from their choice set, but would otherwise prefer to pay the lowest price. Therefore, it is imperative for hoteliers to regularly respond to reviews and resolve issues that are presented to them through travel review websites.

  3. Greater attraction to packages and specials: Leisure travelers are always looking for ways to improve their travel experience, which is the reason why they are more drawn to hotel packages than business travelers. Equipped with the mindset of having a great vacation experience, the majority of leisure travelers are looking for hotels that provide them with incentives to stay there than any other hotel. 

  4. Desires extra on-site hotel facilities: Leisure travelers have a greater appreciation for the extra “frills” that hotels offer to their guests. For example, a hotel that offers a pool, fitness area or a restaurant receives a lot more bonus points for leisure travelers. 


In order to have a successful business, it is important to understand the needs and wants of your customers. The same concept applies for hotels, as it is not only important to acknowledge your guests’ preferences, but also to understand the differences of your business and leisure traveler segments. By better understanding your business mix, hoteliers are able to market to these different segments with greater effectiveness. Taking the time to understand and research the differences of your business mix, such as business and leisure travelers, can only help to improve your hotel’s influence on guests by providing them with what they truly want in their travel experience.


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