Booking.com for Business Accommodates Business Travel Market
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Booking.com recently introduced a new business travel booking and management platform called Booking.com for Business that aims to better assist the needs of business travelers.
The platform, free to sign up for and featuring more than 650,000 properties across 212 countries, was created because Booking.com noticed that millions of users were booking for business on its leisure website and realized there was a clear need for a dedicated solution, said Todd Dunlap, managing director of Booking.com of the Americas.
“We suddenly noticed on our site that we had millions of users that were booking for business,” Dunlap said. “Looking at that data and understanding that bookers had some unique needs, we did some assessment and came up with a program that we feel is very beneficial for bookers who are looking to book for business.”
Travelers can be linked to the company account or companies can book on their behalf, and a discount of 10 percent off is offered at select properties through the platform. Companies can manage bookings in one place and filter company spending by department, team, individual and more.
Booking.com’s variety of accommodation types should also appeal to business travelers, Dunlap said. In fact, Booking.com found that one-third of business travel bookers are choosing accommodations that are unconventional, and almost half of business travelers are choosing accommodations that are not included in their corporate programs.
The business travel market in general, Dunlap said, “is always constantly evolving, not only on the technology side but also just on choice. We find that business bookers are choosing alternative means where they stay.”
Dunlap said the new platform is an example of Booking.com’s history of assessing the needs of consumers and developing new dedicated sites and platforms accordingly. That includes the introduction of Villas.com, the mobile-friendly booking app Booking Now (available for iPhone and Apple Watch), and Booking Suite, a service that builds mobile-friendly sites for hoteliers that can be customized and updated.
“It’s really a platform in response to what (guests) have been asking us to provide,” Dunlap said. “It’s not something we’re putting out there hoping that people will use. It’s really based on usage we’ve already seen and (requests) that we’ve already had.”
Dunlap said the new platform has been receiving positive reviews in the early stages of its introduction.
“I think folks understand now that we’re going after that unmanaged space in the segment that really has no real solution,” he said. “I think that people understand and appreciate the fact that we’re going after something where there’s a huge void to fill.”
What’s more, Booking.com’s customer service team for the leisure site already has extensive experience working with business travelers, so there shouldn’t be much of an adjustment period, Dunlap said.
While it’s yet another positive step for Booking.com, the brand will continue to look forward and innovate, Dunlap said.
“What we’ll continue to do, as we always do, is to take in feedback and to provide technology and innovation that maps to the needs of our customers,” he said. “We’re just starting. It's the first inch in a multi-mile journey.”
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