Business travel drives business growth. Despite the myriad of ways people can communicate, meeting in person is still the one of the most effective way to conduct business with the greatest ROI. Despite the diversity of reasons for business travel and the stress that can come from being in a new situation, traveling to a foreign country or meeting a new client for the first time, business travelers from around the world tend to be satisfied with their overall trip experience. That is one of the key findings of the recent GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index™ Global Report, in partnership with American Express.
The study examined the views of business travelers from around the world (Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States) who went on at least four business trips in the last twelve months. While there was some variation from country to country, 73 percent of respondents overall report they are satisfied with their overall business travel experience.
Seven key components of the business travel experience were analyzed and tracked against previous responses from a 2015 wave of the study. These were Overall Trip Experience and Travel Friction; Expense Tracking and Management; Travel Management Policy Friction; Business Travel Safety; Corporate/Macroeconomic Environment; Technology for Business Travel; and Social Media Experience. Within the Overall Trip Experience and Travel Friction component, the element business travelers are most satisfied with is staying at hotels, with 75 percent saying they are satisfied. The least satisfying element of this same component is getting through airport security at 54 percent, though that is a significant improvement over last year.
Overall, satisfaction for business travelers is highly correlated with their satisfaction when it comes to meeting their business goals for a trip, and 42 percent indicate they would travel more for business if they could. Respondents who say they either aren’t satisfied or feel neutral toward meeting business goals on their trips feel that having improved Wi-Fi access, clearer objectives, more time with clients, and a larger budget so the trip could be extended would have helped.
The new report also highlights that business travelers are embracing both the rapid advances in technology – with Wi-Fi now being seen as vital to a business trip’s success – and the evolving sharing economy. However, while there is interest from business travelers when it comes to using both emerging technologies such as mobile apps and emerging services such as ride-sharing and home-sharing options, more than one in five don’t know if their employers’ travel policies allow such services.
Overall, the report findings reaffirm the importance of business travel in our global economy.
To learn more about global business travel trends and get more information on how business traveler sentiment has changed over the past year and an understanding of differences in traveler behavior by country, please join a complimentary webinar on September 21. Registration is available now. To download the full report, please click here.