Travel Trends

Timing is Everything: New Research Highlights When to Offer Trip Extras

Two studies focusing on trip extras show how timing matters when hoteliers offer ancillary products


A new white paper titled Business Travelers and their Demand for Ancillary Services, commissioned by iSeatz, a technology company providing ancillary booking solutions, and researched by Phocuswright, shows that timing around offering ancillaries matters just as much as what ancillaries the hotels are offering. The research, along with an earlier study focused on leisure travelers, reveals that although the types of trip extras in which leisure and business travelers are interested may differ, the ways these travelers are willing to engage with this content are extremely similar.

This white paper is the companion piece to Hotel Ancillaries: An Unexplored Opportunity which focused on the leisure traveler’s interest in ancillary products.

Download the entire business traveler focused white paper:
To download the leisure white paper, please click here:

“Hotels have a great opportunity to enhance their guests’ satisfaction by offering a relevant set of products to fulfill their end-to-end travel needs” said Kenneth Purcell, CEO & Founder of iSeatz, “Making compelling ancillaries available is the first step, then implementing a strategy to drive guest awareness of the new capabilities ultimately ensures the program’s success. ”

What they want:

Business and leisure travelers have different needs when traveling and have different interests in ancillary services.

Business travelers are interested in more pragmatic trip extras from hotels, with the aim of making their trip run much smoother. The top services business travelers are interested in include items such as access to high speed wifi, prepaid breakfast or other meal, and parking.

Leisure travelers however are more interested in exploring the destination. Their interests include sightseeing and dining options. The top services leisure travelers are interested in include on-property dining, early check in/ late check out, and museum and attraction tickets.

When they prefer to see these offers:

Although the research shows a major divide in what each type of traveler is interested in from hotels, the way that these travelers will be open to receiving marketing messaging was remarkably similar.

Four out of the top five options were shared between both leisure and business travelers. Surprisingly, communications sent through mobile devices were ranked very low, especially with leisure travelers. Leisure travelers were more interested in receiving offers from an in-person concierge, while text messaging appeared in the top five results for business travelers.

Out of the surveyed leisure travelers, 13% were interested in opting-in for text messages, 12% were interested in opting-in for notifications through the hotel app, and only 7% were interested in receiving push notifications.

In addition to exploring the business traveler landscape and the interest in purchasing travel add-ons, the white paper delves into the differences in travel habits of business travelers with and without corporate travel policies; bleisure travel trends; and purchasing habits of business travelers by age and type of stay.

These white papers also touches on the challenges faced by hotels when it comes to offering travel extras. Key hotel chain executives who were interviewed cited lack of technology, information sharing, employee incentivizing, and cost of implementation as challenges to offering ancillary services to their guests.

About iSeatz

Founded in 1999 and based in New Orleans, iSeatz is a leading travel commerce and ancillary merchandising technology company for travel, financial services and entertainment brands. Focused on customization and backed by proven deliverability, reliable advanced analytics and travel lifecycle expertise, iSeatz sets the bar for a superb travel journey from the very first search. iSeatz custom digital experiences allow prospective travelers to search, discover and book a spectrum of travel-related products. iSeatz travel technology solutions connect people to unique travel journeys, generating over $3 billion in annual sales for our partners each year from more than three million annual bookings. The iSeatz partner portfolio includes brands such as American Express, Air Canada, Amtrak, Expedia, and IHG. Learn more at


As with the previous study, this research study was approached from two complementary angles. Initially, to understand the demand side, Phocuswright fielded an online consumer survey in early November 2017 through SSI, targeting the general U.S. adult traveling population that plans to travel online. To qualify for participation, respondents had to have taken at least one trip at least 75 miles from home in the past 12 months that included paid lodging and/or air travel; have used the Internet to select their destination, compare and choose travel products, book travel or share travel experiences; and have played active roles in the actual planning of their trip. An additional screener question was used to identify Online Business Travelers, defined as online travelers who took at least one business trip in the last 12 months. Phocuswright received 2,102 qualified responses, and the respondent pool can be projected with confidence onto the U.S. online traveler population. The error interval for analysis is +/-2.2% at a 95% confidence level. To complement this quantitative data and better understand the demand side of the ancillary market, Phocuswright also conducted a series of in-depth, 30-minute telephone interviews with key personnel within the U.S. hotel sector. Respondents comprised representatives of both chains and independent properties, and included a mix of e-commerce, sales and marketing and operations functions, at both the individual property and the corporate level.

Media Contact:

Rebecca Jostes
Marketing Manager, iSeatz

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