Traveller wellbeing tops priorities for corporate travel programmes, says BCD survey

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Traveller wellbeing tops priorities for corporate travel programmes, says BCD survey

Results of a BCD Travel survey of 118 travel buyers in March 2022 state that buyers feel that traveller satisfaction and wellbeing is the second most important travel programme priority after duty of care.

While 92% of survey respondents listed the topic as extremely or very important, only 62% of the travel buyers surveyed said their companies provided traveller wellbeing support and only 14% said their companies plan to increase budget for traveller wellbeing in 2022.

BCD previously also conducted a wellbeing survey of 875 business travellers in February. The surveys reveal similarities and differences in buyer and traveller sentiment:

  • Awareness of wellbeing measures to support business travellers varies. While 62% of travel buyers are aware of offerings within their company, among travellers this figure is lower (51%).
  • Both travel buyers and travellers ranked convenient hotel location (73% and 58% respectively), direct flights (71% and 70%) and business class for long-haul flights (57% and 54%) among the top five policy options to improve traveller wellbeing.
  • Travel buyers also rated freedom to decide to travel or not (55%) and a simple trip approval process (55%) as important policy options that contribute to traveller wellbeing. Neither made the top five among business travellers, who instead were more appreciative of airplane seat selection (59%) and fast-track security programmes (58%).
  • While 43% of buyers offer sustainable travel choices for a better traveller experience, only 20% of surveyed travellers feel this contributes to their wellbeing.
  • Wellbeing support showed the largest discrepancy between buyer and traveller sentiment. Travel buyers rated mental support measures (training in stress management, mental health counselling, and mental health support) as most important. Travellers instead care more about physical wellbeing measures (restaurant recommendations, nutrition, sleep and recovery advice, and gym membership when traveling).
  • In terms of work-life balance support, travel buyers placed more value on the ability to work from home before or after a trip (64%) than did travellers (48%), though this option was highly ranked by both audiences along with allowing work from any location and bleisure. Furthermore, travellers are more interested in extra time off to compensate for business travel out of working hours (53% vs 20% for travel buyers), allowing a partner to accompany (50% vs 19% for travel buyers) and time off after long trips (48% vs 7%).

Travel buyers can address the differences above by increasing traveller awareness of wellbeing programmes and aligning policies and wellbeing measures with traveller values and needs and BCD has provided some guidance for travel buyers to get started:

  • Survey travellers to find out what they think and get the insights to make policy changes to better meet travellers’ needs
  • Use traveller engagement to create awareness, influence behaviour and increase satisfaction.
  • Communicate with travellers so they feel confident about their health, safety and wellbeing while on the road. TripSource Messaging ensures travellers stay informed and engaged with risk alerts, flight alerts, emergency response notifications, policy information and trip reminders.

Mike Janssen, global chief operating officer and chief commercial officer for BCD Travel, commented: “This survey reveals a significant gap between wellbeing supply and demand, as well as differing views on which measures most support traveller wellbeing. Travel buyers should align their policies to what their travellers value and need. At the same time, they may also need to put more time and effort in clearly communicating the benefits of mental support, which is currently valued less than physical support.”

For the complete survey results, please click here.

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