Globally, three in ten business travellers are happy to sacrifice safety for hotel loyalty and rewards incentives, according to research commissioned by Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), the global travel management company.
Travellers in the Americas are likeliest to do so (39%), followed by Europeans (34%) and travellers from Asia Pacific (28%).
In the UK some 38% of business travellers said they would choose points over personal safety. This is among the highest out of all the major countries in Europe. Sweden tops the list with over half (51%) sacrificing safety for points.
“Clearly, travellers are very focused on their hotel loyalty points – they will go to great lengths to get their hands on those benefits,” said David Falter, president, RoomIt by CWT. “One way of meeting that challenge – short of tougher enforcement – is to let travellers collect points for booking within policy.”
In terms of what makes business travellers feel unsafe at hotels, the CWT survey found that approximately a quarter of European travellers expressed concern about safety at hotels, with the possibility of an ‘intruder’ during their stay the most likely to cause concern. This is followed by a terrorist attack (35%) and ‘disruptions from other guests’ (34%).
Other concerns cited by European travellers were fire (30%) and hotel staff ‘inadvertently’ giving out personal information or room key to a stranger (29%).
As far as precautions taken by travellers to stay safe at hotels, the research found that a healthy majority of travellers (75%) said one of the measures they take to stay safe is keeping their room door locked at all times.
“While most hotel rooms lock automatically, a number of solutions available on the market can provide an added layer of security,” said Falter. “Items such as door wedges, portable door locks and travel door alarms can help a traveller secure their room more effectively.”
More than a third of travellers surveyed (37%) said they take the room key out of key folder so people can’t link the key to the room. Travellers from the Americas (42%) are more likely to do this than those from other regions.
Another tactic is to put the ‘Do not disturb’ sign on the door when leaving the room. This tactic is adopted by 30% of travellers globally and 23% in Europe.
Travellers also believe that the floor they stay on can impact their safety and security. Almost a quarter of those surveyed (23%) said they opt for a higher floor when possible, while 15% choose a lower flower. Twenty-one percent said they avoid staying on the ground floor.
“Security experts typically advise staying between the third and sixth floors, where it becomes difficult for an intruder to break in, but you’re still within the reach of most fire departments’ ladders,” added Falter.