They would represent 64% of travelers – and 52% of business travelers – and yet their needs are struggling to be taken into account by the profession.
Periodic protections available, a room that can be locked from the inside, room service that is more varied than the age-old club sandwich: women have specific expectations that the hotel industry is starting to take an interest in because more than one out of two travelers is a traveler.
“Designed for men, by men, the hotel industry has not sufficiently adapted its offers to the specific needs of women”says Valérie Hoffenberg, creator of SHe Travel Club, which wants to be the first label in the world “specially designed in response to expectations and needs” women. “More and more women are travelling: they represent 64% of travelers and 52% of business travellers”, she notes. And yet their business trips can be synonymous with setbacks.
Safety and comfort are not always there, according to a study conducted for this label, with 5,000 women in five countries (United Kingdom, France, China, United States and Brazil). SHe Travel sifts through 70 criteria of safety, comfort, services and catering to help hoteliers “open your eyes to the real criteria that matter to women”– not “Flowers or pink in the decor…”quips the co-founder of the Think Tank Marie Claire Acting for Equality, also ex-special representative of France for the Middle East.
“Shaving foam but no sanitary protection”
The label aims to enable women to identify establishments, currently mainly 4 and 5 stars, of which there are 50 in Europe and the Middle East, via partnerships with hotel giants such as Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) and Accor. The provision of periodic protection is one of the strongest demands. “We had razors and shaving cream for the men, but no sanitary pads for the women, or make-up remover: we said to ourselves, “We are not at all in parity and equality!”, Explains to AFP Antoine Medda, director of the three-star City Hotel Luxembourg, referenced by the label.
“We are also near the train station, it is not the safest area for ladies: we already used to order a taxi from them to the restaurant”, he says. Because many requests relate to security: women want a 24-hour presence at the reception and a room that closes from the inside with a peephole at the door, to know to whom they open. Eva, a 43-year-old event planner, has “blocked the door with an armchair”a stranger who asked her, at check-in, if she was alone in her room, reports the SHe Travel website.
Women would also like employees to be trained in the fight against sexism and prejudice and for there to be a referent in the event of a problem, according to the survey. They don’t “Do not go to the bar to be flirted: bartenders should not put a drink offered by a stranger on the table, but ask the woman if she wishes to decline the offer”says Valérie Hoffenberg.
Among the frequent travelers surveyed by the label, the American Louisa G., an air hostess, would like, during her holidays with her children, that the staff “don’t ask if dad is going to join us”. And when it comes to comfort, women like to find a full-length mirror, more hangers, a real hair dryer, healthier menus than the age-old club sandwiches in room service, and the hand-held shower rather than the shower head fixed to the ceiling. , reports Valérie Hoffenberg. He is “deemed more aesthetic by architects, and perfect for men but NOT, in terms of hygiene, for women”she notes.
“When we created Okko Hotels in 2010, we didn’t need market research to create warm, well-lit spaces and put a button to block its door”explains Solène Ojea-Devys, director of this young hotel chain. “It’s enough that there are women in the design teams…”she remarks.
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