The hospitality industry is (finally) responding to women’s expectations

They would represent 64% of travelers -and 52% of business travelers- and yet their needs struggle to be taken into account by the profession.

Periodic protections available, rooms that can be locked from the inside, room service more varied than the old club sandwich: women have specific expectations that the hotel industry is beginning to interest because more than one in two travelers is a traveler.

“Designed for men, by men, the hotel industry has not sufficiently adapted its offer to the specific needs of women”says Valérie Hoffenberg, creator of SHe Travel Club, who wants to be the world’s first label “Specially designed in response to expectations and needs” women. “More and more women travel: they represent 64% of travelers and 52% of business travelers”, he points out. And yet, his business trips can be synonymous with setbacks.

Safety and comfort are not always there, according to a study carried out for this label, with 5,000 women in five countries (United Kingdom, France, China, United States and Brazil). SHe Travel examines 70 safety, comfort, service and catering criteria to help hoteliers “open your eyes to the real criteria that matter to women”– No “Flowers or roses in the decoration…”jokes think tank co-founder Marie Claire Acting for Equality, also a former French special representative for the Middle East.

“Shaving foam but no health protection”

The label aims for women to identify establishments, currently mainly 4 and 5 star, of which there are 50 in Europe and the Middle East, through alliances 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, no make-up remover: we said to ourselves, “We are not at all on parity and equality!” Antoine Medda, director of the three-star City Hotel Luxembourg, referenced by the label, explains to AFP.

“We are also close to the train station, it is not the safest area for the ladies: we already asked them for a taxi to the restaurant”, he says. Because many requests have to do with security: women want a 24-hour presence at the reception and a room that closes from the inside with a peephole in the door, so they know who they open for. 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 to have a point of reference in case of a problem, according to the survey. they do not “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 wants to decline the offer”says Valerie Hoffenberg.

Among the frequent travelers surveyed by the label, the American Louisa G., a flight attendant, would like, during her vacations with her children, that the staff “don’t ask if dad will 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 old room service club sandwiches, and the handheld shower instead of the fixed shower. to the roof. , reports Valérie Hoffenberg. He is “considered more aesthetic by architects, and perfect for men but NOT, in terms of hygiene, for women”points out.

“When we created Okko Hotels in 2010, we didn’t need market research to create warm, well-lit spaces and put a button to lock your door”explains Solène Ojea-Devys, director of this young hotel chain. “It is enough that there are women in the design teams…”she comments.

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