More than half (54%) of business travellers 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.
The figures come from a new GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™ which reveals hotel experience is a major driver of overall trip satisfaction.
However, the vast majority (86%) of global travellers are satisfied with their overall business travel experiences, according to the index, produced in partnership with RoomIt by CWT™, the hotel distribution division of travel platform CWT.
Traveller experience proved to have the largest impact (54%) on business traveller satisfaction. Given the large percentage of travellers who have experienced air disruptions, it is no surprise flights were also a leading factor in traveller experience. Yet, the travel components most closely correlated with travel satisfaction, according to the survey, 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 travellers 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 travellers in Europe (32%) or Asia Pacific (30%). Additionally, Latin American travellers are far more likely to find consistent Wi-Fi access very important (60%) than travellers 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 travellers.
“We understand that hotels provide a safe haven for business travellers,” said Peggy Studer, Vice-President of Marketing at RoomIt by CWT. “We understand business travel and meetings can be stressful, but your hotel and booking experience shouldn’t be.”
“Traveller 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.”
While frequent travel can often be perceived as taking a toll on one’s health, business travellers are making health and wellness on the road a priority. More than eight out of ten travellers (83%) consider workout facilities or proximity to walkable areas when making their hotel booking decision. 50% of business travellers 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 travellers 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 travellers are most interested in having in-room filtered drinking water (77%), healthy food delivery (73%) and air purifiers (71%).
For business travellers, time is money and disruptions can hurt productivity and result in lost business. While travellers largely report experiencing more mishaps during the flight portion of their trips, hotels that do not offer enough privacy or soundproofing bother travellers and may contribute to their reported lack of sleep.
An online survey was conducted among 2,084 business travellers around the globe who are employed full- or part-time and have taken three or more business trips in the past 12 months. Respondents included 523 from the United States, 521 from Europe, 517 from Asia-Pacific and 523 from Latin America. The survey was fielded by GBTA between 20 May and 5 June, 2019.