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Creating a Frictionless Travel Experience – Part 1

The GBTA Foundation, in partnership with Sabre Corporation, set out to explore the topic of traveler friction around the world. The recently released study looked at traveler friction from both the business traveler perspective and also from the perspective of the managed travel and human resource professional. The objective was to identify the main challenges business travelers face during their travel experience while learning what managed travel programs and organizations as a whole can do to make this experience a better one.

The study asked business travelers what perks or amenities impacted their business travel experience. By and large, convenient and comfortable hotels, non-stop flights, booking flexibility and paid time off for long trips most frequently topped the list – although there was some variation from country to country in the Asia Pacific region.

It makes sense that hotel convenience and comfort rises to the top as business travelers have to trade the comfort of their homes with a new setting every time they travel. It is where they rest after a long business day away from home or continue to do work once meetings are over. Working to make sure the hotel meets the travelers’ expectations and needs will go a long way in ensuring a positive experience.

We also wanted to learn what optional purchases travelers are making to improve their experience, regardless of whether they are reimbursed by the company or not. Answers varied slightly from region to region, but Wi-Fi or hotel high-speed internet were common purchases as were seat upgrades and international mobile calls and texts.

Travelers are most likely to mention these kinds of optional purchases can improve their productivity while on the road. Of those who purchased upgrades, we asked which ones their companies paid for.

By analyzing how often travelers pay for these amenities and services out-of-pocket and how much it costs the company, travel managers can identify opportunities on top of cost savings to include these during negotiations with suppliers, as they can bring added value to the travel program. Traveler managers should also be sure to provide guidance to their travelers on what amenities are already included or can be reimbursed.

For more from the report, GBTA members can download Creating a Frictionless Travel Experience for free on the GBTA Hub.

Webinars: The GBTA Foundation and Sabre will also host four regional webinars on this research. The webinars will focus on how the travel experience impacts overall job satisfaction of employees; understanding what key areas have the most impact on overall satisfaction with business travel; and identifying technology and travel policies that help drive and enhance traveler well-being.

Register today:
Europe – Monday, November 6 at 9am ET
Asia Pacific – Wednesday, November 15 at 6am ET
Latin America – Wednesday, November 15 at 9am ET (presented in Spanish)
The Americas – Wednesday, November 15 at 2pm ET