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27 Mar, 2013

Women on the move – WITX to spark new thinking on loyalty, corporate travel and authentic leadership

Web In Travel Media Release

Singapore, 27 March 2013 — Hyatt has introduced Hyatt Has It – a service that will offer all guests essentials such as a phone charger, curling iron, steamer, yoga mat, makeup remover wipes, and razor to keep, borrow or buy.

While it is aimed at all guests, a particular focus is women business travellers who “are often much more reluctant than men to seek assistance” when they forget things – this, according to an 18-month effort by the group to create solutions to the issues that women face on the road.

According to the chain’s research, women want:

  • Assurances that their guest rooms have been cleaned and an ongoing dialogue with the hotel to provide feedback. Guests will now find communications cards that allow housekeepers to provide personal confirmation of a thoroughly cleaned room and open the door to two-way communication, encouraging guests to share additional needs during their stay.
  • An easy way to obtain items forgotten at home without breaking stride. Hence the Hyatt Has It service.
  • To maintain their health and well-being on the road – new menu offerings that include fresh juices and smoothies, balanced portions and “create your own” options. Hyatt hotels will now offer all guests bath amenities from KenetMD Skin Care, Le Labo, June Jacobs, and Aromapothecary across its portfolio of brands.

Earlier this month, women business leaders from the Middle East gathered in Dubai to discuss “Women as Dynamic Forces of Change” as part of the US group’s longterm partnership with Vital Voices, a global non-profit that trains and mentors women to enhance their leadership and economic opportunity.

Hyatt and Marriott are not the only two hotel brands making a statement in the women’s market. Accor late last year launched its international women’s network called Women at Accor Generation (WAAG). Accor has set a target for women to represent about 50% of its hotel managers worldwide, with an intermediary target of 35% by 2015.

Wyndham’s Women on Their Way, the hospitality industry’s longest-running branded program for female travelers, launched in 1995, has a dedicated website that offers an online resource for business and leisure travelers to find everything they need to plan and book their next trip.

A survey by Women On Their Way also showed the heavy use of social media by travellers.

  • Almost half (46 percent) of women use social media during their trip and half access it through their smartphones.
  • Of those respondents who use social media during their trip, the majority (81 percent) are on a leisure vacation. Three in every four women are on family visits and a quarter are on girlfriend getaways.
  • Facebook is the social media site of choice for the connected traveler. Almost two-in-five women provide status updates or commentary during their trip on Facebook and well over half (57 percent) share photos or videos.
  • Younger respondents are more ‘plugged in’ and are more likely to be using social media during their trip. More than half of those under the age of 35 are using social media while on their trip, almost two-thirds share photos or videos and 46 percent update their status or provide commentary.
  • Most respondents commented that the biggest reason they use social media when they travel was to stay in touch with friends and family while traveling and share their experience with others.
  • Accor and Wyndham will be among leading brands that will be speaking at a unique woman-focused travel conference will once again put the spotlight on how women are redefining travel within Asia.

The one-day conference, owned by Web in Travel, will take place in Bangkok’s Sofitel So on April 26.

“Women in Asia are coming into their own within the previously male-dominated travel industry – both as customers as well as business owners and managers. Many may not realize the influence that women now wield in the industry, so our objective for this conference is to surface new knowledge and new discussions that will change mindsets and spark new thinking,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, owner of Web in Travel series of conferences.

“We will go into issues like loyalty, corporate travel and meetings, the digital, social and mobile habits of women in various markets, what it takes to be an authentic leader, revenue and yield management, entrepreneurship and market sectors like vacation rentals and deals.”

A stellar cast of speakers will include Aya Aso, CEO, Agora Hospitalities, Japan; Marisa Sukosol, CEO, Sukosol Hotels & Resorts; Meredith Smith, MSD (Merck), Travel & Meeting Services Director, SBS Enterprise Shared Services; Lisa Aekroyd, Vice President, Global Sales and Program Management, APAC, Carlson Wagonlit Travel; Kerry Brown, Vice President-Southeast Asia, comScore; Denise Peng, Vice President Marketing, Qunar, China; Kei Shibata, CEO, Venture Republic, Japan; Emilie Couton, Director of Guest Experience, Asia Pacific, Accor; Cynthia Liu, Senior Director, Brand Marketing, Wyndham Hotel Group Asia Pacific; Traci Mercer, Vice President, Market Management – Asia Pacific, Expedia ®Lodging Partner Services; Bonnie Spalding, Vice President-Asia, Rainmaker; Celia Jackson, easyRMS; Morris Sim, CEO, Circos Brand Karma; Guy Thanespong Charusadhirakul, Sr Manager Partnership, APAC, TripAdvisor; James Cassidy, general manager, Australasia, HomeAway; and Azran Osman Rani, CEO of AirAsiaX.

The conference, now in its second presentation, will also prominently feature a Charity Bazaar effort to benefit the Yim Kids of Thailand.

The event is targeted at travel industry and business professionals who want to be inspired by a varied generation of women travel leaders in different fields and learn about the potential and opportunities of the female market in the digital age of travel.

Tickets to the event will go on sale shortly.

Those interested in attending or sponsorship opportunities should contact gerry@webintravel.com