Airport Business Socialising and Lifestyle Marketing

Here at hotel’s near the airport we’ve been talking this week about airports, and hotels near airports, as business hubs. As places where the international business community regularly intersects with its self. Modern business Men and Women are always on the move, with the best racking up thousands of air miles a year and working almost constantly in the air, in the airport, or in cities and hotels that they wont stay in for more than a day or two. This is the true life of a modern mogul, the type who is actually going to go far. The real business buff, the bosses amongst the pigeons. We are not talking about your day players here, we are getting serious.

wallstreet

That is right…. crazy Michael Douglas serious…

For these people, business is everything, and they will not take a little thing like being stuck in an airport near a hotel for a night stop them. We speak to business people regularly here at Hotels near the airport, and we have been hearing more and more stories about deals being done at hotels that we have featured on the sight, and some that we haven’t. Many hotels are building reputations as being particularly good places to meet other business people and make contacts, and sometimes even make deals. Deals! Business deals! That make you money.

pounds

Pounds of it!

We spoke to one businessman, who wanted to stay anonymous, he had this to say: “Airport hotels are now like the bars and restaurants that used to sit below the sidewalk around wall street, they are places where people catch an eye and make an offer, where a slightly different attitude and atmosphere prevails to the boardroom or the conference call, you can see an old face, or get to know a new one. It can get a bit silly though, it’s all about image you know, all about show and flash. I mean, that has always been in business but theres this whole ‘lifestyle marketing’ fad at the moment. People want to look flash, they want to drive in in a Porsche, not a boring old rented Clio or something. It’s getting ridiculous, I heard of some guy who heard a certain potential client was going to be in the same hotel near Manchester Airport, and went over to a Porsche parts specialist in Liverpool and bought a vintage Porsche just to make a good impression!”.

porsche

“Theres NO business like SHOWing off business”

That is pretty mind blowing, but apparently it is true. Well what do you reckon? Is that the right thing to do? Is it right to go all out and try and really impress that client? We’re not sure, though we sure like the sound of the Porsche! We even checked out the Porsche specialist in Liverpool’s website, they don’t look cheap.

Ah well, we can all dream, see you next time!

World Airport Awards 2015. The Winners, the Losers, the Fallout…

On Wednesday the 11th of March the brightest and best of the global Airport community gathered in Paris for the 15th annual airport awards. This years edition was bigger and better than ever before and shone a light on some of the hardest working and successful people within the industry who have taken what an airport can do and how it can do it to new levels. Air travel being as it is, the state of our airports effects more people than ever before, with billions of flights taking of and landing every year, the ongoing maintenance and progression of the global airport network is a stunning logistical and organisational effort from individual institutions working both internally and in cooperation with each other. But the night of the World Airpot Awards is a night where the industry pits airports against each other in an attempt to find the best airport around. As well as the covered “Airport of the year” trophy, there are multiple other awards up for grabs such as Best Airport Staff, Best Domestic and Regional Airports, Best Transit Airport, Best Airport Terminal, Best Low-Cost Airline Terminal, Worlds most improved Airport, World’s Cleanest Airport, Best Airport Shopping, Best Airport Dining, Best Airport Immigration, Best Airport Security, Best Baggage Delivery, Best Airport Leisure Amenities, Best Airport VIP Terminal and Best Airport Hotel.

 

 

The big one: The Airport of the Year, Asian domination and the long rivalry

 

In 15 years, Airport of the year has never been one by an airport outside of Asia, in fact, the award has only been one by three different airports: Singapore Changi Airport, Incheon International Airport and Hong Kong International Airport. The inagural Airport of the Year award in 2000 was won by Singapore, but this gave way to a five year long domination of the award by the much lauded Hong Kong International Airport. It was Hong Kong’s gong from 2001 to 2005, and then from 2006 to 2013 the award was handed round like a hot potato at a picnic: 2006 saw Singapore Changi reclaim the award, only to lose it for 2007 and 2008 back to Hong Kong, then in 2009 the world was shocked and the odds upset when Incheon International Airport from South Korea won for the first time, many were shocked, but not those who flew regularly through this amazing airport. Then in 2010 Singapore stole it back, only to lose it to Hong Kong a year later, who lost it back to Incheon in 2012. In 2013 it was reclaimed by Singapore Changi, and so it was again in 2014. But 2015! What happened this year, well we can reveal that the winner of Airport of the year 2015 is…. Singapore Changi Airport for the third year running!

hotels1

Congratulations Singapore Changi! They wont be “departing” from the top for a while we think.

 

So well done them… 

 

So well done them, but here at Hotels Near The Airport, we’re interested more specifically in one particular award: The World’s Best Airport Hotel 2015. The panel really went crazy this year and awarded it to… Crowne Plaza Changi Airport! Oh, maybe not so out there then…

 

hotels1

 

Fair enough though…

 

In the best in Europe category the Hilton Munich came first, with Sofitel London Heathrow coming a close second. All very good and well. We can’t really criticise the results here, the Crowne Plaza at Changi Airport is a stunning hotel and worthy winner.

 

Looking forward to next year…

 

Well so it goes, but what do we feel the awards should be looking at for next year. Well, with their categories scrapping all the way down to ‘Best Airport Shopping” we feel there is a category that is being criminally overlooked: best (or maybe simply most affordable) airport parking. There is a crisis in affordability when it comes to airport parking with many trying to find inventive solutions and trying to give flyers options. It is options that customers need, as for too long they have been left with a choice of one at an airport, and that one can charge what the hell they like, this may change with the development of price comparison sites for airport car parking, but the international Airport Awards should recognise those airports that are trying to give there customers a better deal on an essential service. An idea from us, to them, for free! But overall an exciting year and we look forward to the next, but after 3 years of domination, with it be Singapore for four or Hong Kong’s Gong?

Designing an Airport Hotel

Hotels based at airports are very niche-specific investments, and need some qualities that other hotels wouldn’t need to rely on to succeed. It’s important to consider equally who will use the product, what they will expect and whether additional revenue can be generated. You need to take into account all of these factors, as well as what the competitors are currently offering.

 

Airport hotels will largely get guests who are either on the way to or from the airport, including airline crew like captains and hosts. Depending on how far the airport is away from the city, there may be many people staying there, and accommodation could be needed for a few hours of sleep or a day – although it’s unlikely anyone will stay longer than a night.

 

The success will likely depend on how close the hotel is positioned to the airport in comparison with its competitors – a close proximity allows for a much larger number of passengers who may find that staying at and parking in an airport hotel is cheaper and more convenient than staying in the official airport car park.

 

Common Spaces

Having a large, open space in a hotel is great for getting extra bodies through the door – but without the appropriate means to generate revenue, this is just a waste. In the event of cancelled or delayed flights, or even lengthy waits for check-ins, this space may be rather full, and if you can monetise it by providing tea, coffee and snacks for sale you may be in for a winner.
Storage requirements are also important. With such short stays, many travellers may not want to take their heavy luggage up to their room but leave it downstairs. This may be especially problematic in the event of a cancelled or delayed flight, when hundreds of people with full suitcases may be filling your lobby. While this might be an unwelcome use of space, it will help reduce the stress on hotel staff and damage on the hotel itself.

hotelfgf

Rooms

Many different types of traveller are likely to pass through an airport hotel – families, businessmen, honeymooners, students…so you’ll need to make sure you have rooms available for all these eventualities. Family rooms should have extra beds or bunk beds, there should be group suites with lounges and settees, basic rooms for a night’s sleep, and romantic apartments.

 

An additional possibility to take into account is that people may be jet-lagged going through and in desperate need of sleep at a wide range of times during the day. Ideally, the rooms should be as free of noise pollution as possible, and should have thick blinds to simulate night time at any time of the day.

 

Hotels with extras such as fast turnaround laundry and dry cleaning services may earn more revenue than others; the same goes for security extras like video door bells, electronic safes and high speed internet. Any alarm clocks in the room should be constantly checked and preferably mains powered, as a hotel can find itself liable if their guest misses their flight due to an incorrect time on their clock.

Restaurants and Bars

Ideally, the hotel should be quite flexible in terms of when it serves food, particularly within the hours when people will be moving to and from the airport. A bar is a nice touch that will bring in people who aren’t even staying with you, and some kind of evening’s entertainment may be good for getting increased revenue. Having self-serve machines of snacks and bottled drinks on each floor has been proven to increase revenues during the odd hours when a restaurant service isn’t necessary.

 

Conference Rooms

If your airport hotel is in a transit hub it could do very well with conference and meeting rooms, ideally with a decent business centre. This allows travelling businessmen and executives to use their time wisely.

 

Recreation

In terms of profitability, having leisure facilities could go either way. In big areas of transit, hotels which offer gyms, saunas and massages may find they do particularly well from hasty travellers looking for a little luxury. A swimming pool however may not be worth the investment.

 

The desk should also be open for selling items that travellers might need, including medicines, souvenirs, ear plugs and so on.

 

Airport hotels tend to do quite a bit better than their inner-city counterparts – it’s the valuable cross-section of having very little competition and many people constantly moving in and out of the area. But as mentioned before, you need to think about what it is the client needs, and work from there.