Hotel Online  Special Report
Female Business Travelers' Expectations

Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson, June 2001

The world of business travel is no longer dominated by business men. Nearly fifty percent of today’s business travelers are women; that number has risen ten percent in the past three years.  All indications point to continued increase.   The classic Men’s Club atmosphere is no longer acceptable and hotels across the country are scrambling to accommodate the unique expectations of these discriminating guests.
Is your property making the necessary adjustments to ensure that  your female business guests feel comfortable, safe, and respected?  Have you taken the initial step to identify what today’s businesswoman wants and expects from a fine hotel?     
Ask Harry and Cheryl
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You have probably added some “feminine” amenities, like padded hangers and hairdryers. You may have even added pantyhose to the mini-bar inventory.  This is a start, but just a start.  Female business travelers today demand much more.  When they find a hotel that appreciates and caters to their demands, they will stay there and come back time and time again. They will also recommend the property to others.

Besides padded hangers and pantyhose, what else does the modern female business traveler expect?  A café or bistro atmosphere is preferred over the sports bar or cocktail lounge environment. Women expect menu choices compatible with their lifestyle.  This will include ingredients, preparation, and presentation. Lighter fare appeals to more and more business travelers: especially women. Spa menus, featuring organically grown fruits and vegetables, meats from organically fed animals, free range poultry, and whole grain breads are becoming a mainstay in high-end hotels across the world. A café atmosphere is much preferred over the sports bar or cocktail lounge environment. 

Security issues are very important.  Are exits and other areas well lighted and secure?  Is the fitness and workout area safe and attended if open during non-peak hours? Does it have an outside entrance that is locked after dark? Is the fitness center accessible to ‘regular members’ as well as the hotel guests?  Is there a secure jogging area or better yet do you offer a jogging partner program for female guests?

Does your staff really know how to provide professional and attentive service that is not condescending or offensive?  This is particularly important to business women traveling alone.  Professional and respectful service can be the determining factor between the success and failure of a hotel stay for the female business traveler. 

Imagine how a woman traveler feels dining solo in a noisy Sports Bar Restaurant filled with men watching football or soccer on the big screen television. To say she feels out of place or awkward is putting it mildly. If the only place to sit is at a cocktail table in the middle of the room, a banquette table designed for six people in the corner or the bar itself, she will most likely feel uncomfortable.

These demands will continue to evolve as the number of female business travelers increases across the world. You must prepare your staff to cater to these growing expectations.  You can be sure many of your competitors are already doing so.

If you would like to discuss this topic or inquire about training assistance, please contact us.


Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting
POC:  Harry Nobles
Phone:  757-564-3761
Fax:        757-564-0076


  • Former head of AAA Lodging/Dining Ratings Program. 
  • An independent consultant serving the hospitality industry. 
  • A Special Training Consultant to the Educational Institute, American Hotel/Motel Association
Also See: Is Outsourcing Your Training a Viable Alternative? / June 2001
Unique Identity + Consistent Service = Success / May 2001
AAA Standards vs  Guests' Expectations / May 2001
Are Your Guests Better Informed Than Your Staff? / April 2001
Are U.S. Hotels Rated Differently From Other North American Hotels? / April 2001
The Design Theme - AAA / Mobil Ratings Connection / March 2001
Attitude Can Make the Difference / January 2001
How Should Casino-Hotels be Rated? / Dec 2000
Does AAA Rate Resorts Fairly? / Nov 2000
Is Your Property Suffering From Design Deficiency? / Nov 2000 
The Future of AAA Ratings / September 2000
What Is Your Optimum AAA Rating / August 2000
If You Disagree With Your AAA Rating…../ June 2000
Are AAA Ratings Always Accurate and Objective / May 2000
Creating Atmosphere / Jan 2000
What is "Atmosphere"? / December 1999
Maintaining Your AAA Rating / Nov 1999
Earning a AAA Rating vs Maintaining a AAA Rating: Which Is More Difficult?  / Oct 1999
Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999 
Consistency: The Hallmark of a Fine Hotel / September 1999
Who Should Train Your Employees  / Aug 2000 
Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998 
Key to Success: Training + Follow-Up / June 2000
The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999 
To Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting Index Page

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