In today’s competitive lodging environment, hoteliers must think outside the box to reignite guest excitement, implementing new experiential amenities to deliver memorable services. While pools, WiFi access, and gyms once delighted visitors, such amenities are now considered standard or—at the very least—expected. However, one amenity that is growing in popularity, boosting guest experiences, and meeting expectations for high-tech, sustainable options is the on-site offering of bikes and electric bikes, or e-bikes. Reports predict the United States will soon surpass 1 million electric bike sales annually as people seek to avoid crowded public transportation or expensive ride-hailing services.
By instituting a bike amenity program, hotels can benefit from this rising interest in micromobility, or lightweight transportation. These programs are particularly ideal for destination hotels for several reasons:
- Convenient transportation: Offering bikes in a hotel lobby or through a nearby shop makes it easy to get around without a car, taxi, or public transit.
- Cost-effective: Bikes are less expensive than cars and don’t use fuel or require a license or insurance to operate.
- Explore more: Hotels near parks have a perfect opportunity to offer guests the chance to enjoy the outdoors, especially as cities add miles of bike paths and invest in new cycling infrastructure.
- Health and fitness: Biking offers a great way to stay active while keeping up with exercise routines, even while on business or vacation.
- Sustainability: Bikes provide environmentally friendly transportation, which can appeal to those interested in reducing their carbon footprint while traveling.
- Accessibility: E-bikes can be an accessible mode of transportation for people with mobility issues or who find it difficult to bike uphill or over long distances.
- Brand awareness: Hotels that offer bikes or e-bikes can improve their brands and garner loyalty from customers who may choose a particular hotel brand based on a particular amenity.
For example, at the DoubleTree by Hilton and Embassy Suites by Hilton San Francisco Airport, micromobility as a service has offered approximately 600 individual guests the opportunity to take an average ride of 1.5 hours. Most guests enjoy riding along the bay, excursions into San Francisco, or use of the vehicles as a utility for local shopping and dining.
One hotel that has taken a unique approach to offering micromobility is the Mandarin Oriental, New York, located in Columbus Circle near Central Park. The property recently rolled out a program where guests visit a local bike shop to pick up their e-bike or regular bike for a complimentary ride around the city lasting one or two hours.
Hoteliers should look for convenient, comprehensive turnkey programs that make it easy to provide or boost their micromobility options for guests. Through these types of programs, hotels can implement a fleet of bikes without purchasing equipment, worrying about maintenance, swapping batteries, or charging.
Newer, value-added experiential services that guests can appreciate and use will go a long way in helping drive business. Hotels can promote these services on social media and digital channels to attract more guests seeking something special in their travel and lodging choices. As the public and local businesses take notice, travel will continue to pick up, creating endless opportunities that will help strengthen communities all over the country.