More than half (54%) of business travelers have experienced a mishap* while on the road for work in the last year, with 52% reporting they had a delayed flight and 40% a cancelled flight. However, the vast majority (86%) of global travelers are satisfied with their overall business travel experiences, according to the newly relaunched GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™ in partnership with RoomIt by CWT™, the hotel distribution division of CWT, the B2B4E travel management platform.
Traveler experience proved to have the largest impact (54%) on business traveler satisfaction. Given the large percentage of travelers who have experienced air disruptions, it is no surprise flights were a leading factor in traveler experience. Yet, the travel components most closely correlated with travel satisfaction are hotel-driven, including staying at conveniently located hotels, booking air and hotel, the hotel check-in/check-out process, and payment for travel arrangements.
Convenient hotels and consistent Wi-Fi access top the list of most important factors for business travelers while on the road. Latin American (52%) and North American (44%) road warriors are much more likely to want to stay at a conveniently located hotel to where they need to be for their trip compared to travelers in Europe (32%) or Asia Pacific (30%). Additionally, Latin American travelers are far more likely to find consistent Wi-Fi access very important (60%) than travelers in North America (47%), Europe (37%) or Asia Pacific (35%). Hotel amenities such as free breakfast and being able to acquire or use travel rewards and perks at their own discretion are also close behind on the list of factors that matter most for business travelers.
“We understand that hotels provide a safe haven for business travelers,” said Peggy Studer, vice president of marketing at RoomIt by CWT. “Our philosophy at RoomIt is to offer travelers more choice – types of accommodations, locations, amenities and loyalty points – and an overall better booking experience to encourage employees to book within their travel programs. We understand business travel and meetings can be stressful, but your hotel and booking experience shouldn’t be.”
“Traveler experience has been an industry buzz word for the past few years now, but the survey results clearly demonstrate just how much it really does matter to road warriors,” said Scott Solombrino, GBTA COO and executive director. “As the workforce continues to diversify, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to business travel, meaning choice and flexibility should be a key consideration when developing travel policies.”
83 percent of Business Travelers Consider Fitness Options When Booking a Hotel
While frequent travel can often be perceived as taking a toll on one’s health, business travelers are making health and wellness on the road a priority. More than 8 out of 10 travelers (83%) consider workout facilities or proximity to walkable areas when making their hotel booking decision. Fifty percent of business travelers report making time for exercise on roughly every trip and nearly a quarter (23%) report working out more often on business trips than they would at home. While most travelers are fine with running outside or using the hotel gym, 43% wished hotels would offer hot yoga, 33% would like to participate in CrossFit and 32% would prefer to meditate on-site.
Unsurprisingly, the top wellness concerns for road warriors include lack of sleep (37%), the general stress of travel (34%) and unhealthy eating (33%). When it comes to wellness options offered by hotels, business travelers are most interested in having in-room filtered drinking water (77%), healthy food delivery (73%) and air purifiers (71%).
Stress & Nuisances
For business travelers, time is money and disruptions can hurt productivity and result in lost business. While travelers largely report experiencing more mishaps during the flight portion of their trips, hotels that do not offer enough privacy or soundproofing bother travelers and may contribute to their reported lack of sleep. Road warriors shared their top stresses and annoyance factors on the road:
*Editor’s Note: Travel mishaps include but are not limited to: cancelled flight, car accident, delayed flight, emergency evacuation, injury / sickness, lost documents, lost equipment, lost luggage, medical emergency, etc.
About the Index
The GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™ in Partnership with RoomIt by CWT is a proprietary, data-centered barometer based on business travelers’ attitudes toward four key components of business-related travel:
- Traveler Experience (i.e., attitudes toward general trip experience from booking to air travel and hotel stays to expense reporting)
- Trip success and Meeting Business Objectives (i.e., attitudes toward aspects of the business trip that lead to improved trip success)
- Travel Management Policy Friction (i.e., attitudes toward company travel policy management, flexibility and comprehension)
- Technology for Business Travel (i.e., opinions about technology’s impact on business travel)
Given this is our first period of analysis, it will become our benchmark and all Index values are initially set to 100. As we measure these Index components periodically over time, a new value will be calculated each quarter based on the percentage change in the component.
To learn more, download an infographic here with key highlights from the research. The full report, GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index, is available exclusively to GBTA members here and may also be downloaded from RoomIt by CWT’s website.
Learn more about the Sentiment Index and what it means for travel programs during an interactive and engaging education session at GBTA Convention 2019 on Monday, August 5 at 8:45AM CT in room S504ab as well as during an encore presentation on Wednesday, August 7 at 12:45PM CT in room S504cd. During the sessions, one attendee will join us on the stage to play Cash Cab as we reveal the survey results and feature the Dos and Don’ts for improving your travel program based on traveler sentiment.
A webinar taking a deeper dive into the research findings featuring experts from GBTA and RoomIt by CWT will take place on September 5 at 10 AM ET. Register today.
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