The Business of Travel


The Official Blog of the Global Business Travel Association

GBTA Research and Professional Development Update

Are Business Travel Programs Barring Basic Economy?

According to new research, business travel programs are not on board with basic economy fares. These fares were introduced by many airlines last year and are typically cheaper than standard airfare, but come with restrictions. The report, put out by GBTA in partnership with Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC), revealed that 63 percent of travel programs never allow basic economy, and even more (79 percent) configure their booking tool to hide basic economy fares when travelers are not authorized. Delve into additional research findings.  


GBTA Announces Formation of WINiT Strategic Advisory Board

In early October, GBTA announced the formation of the WINiT Strategic Advisory Board, which will provide strategic guidance and direction for the future of WINiT as a GBTA Board of Directors initiative. GBTA announced its acquisition of WINiT in August at GBTA Convention 2018 in San Diego. More details on this acquisition and initiative can be found here.


Mobile Payments among Travel Buyers and Suppliers Still in Early Adoption Phase

New research by GBTA, in partnership with U.S. Bank, reveals that mobile payments among travel buyers and suppliers are still in the early adoption phase. While most travel buyers and suppliers are familiar with mobile wallet and contactless payment solutions, 49 percent of travel buyers are still unclear on the benefits. Learn more about this new research.


GBTA & ITM Announce Long-Term Joint Venture

During GBTA Convention 2018, GBTA and The Institute of Travel Management (ITM), the leading managed business travel association in the UK and Ireland, announced the creation of a new London-based event for the managed travel and meetings sector. The new joint venture will kick off with an event, focused on Strategic Meetings Management, that will take place in London on 31 January 2019. Find out more about this partnership.


83 Percent of Female Business Travelers Report Safety Concern or Incident in Past Year

A recent study, conducted in partnership with AIG Travel, revealed that more than 8 in 10, or 83 percent, of women have experienced one or more safety-related concerns or incidents while traveling for business in the past year. The report delves into various precautions that female business travelers take due to safety concerns, highlights gaps in managed travel programs, and more. Read on for more statistics on female business traveler safety.


Business Travelers Say Loyalty Matters in Hotel Booking

According to new research by GBTA, in partnership with Omni Hotels & Resorts, 82 percent of business travelers say loyalty programs matter when making a decision to book a hotel. Additionally, a vast majority (84 percent) of business travelers feel having a personalized guest experience is important. Learn more about trends in hotel personalization and loyalty programs.


Upcoming Events

October 30: GBTA Canada Market Call – Canadian Cannabis Legalization and Its Business Travel Implications 

November 6: Benchmark Your Air Travel Policy – Findings from GBTA ARC Research 

November 14: New GBTA Research – Simple Meetings by the Numbers – A Huge Process and Savings Opportunity 

November 26-27: Advanced Principles of Business Travel Management™ 

See More Upcoming Events



Thank You to Our Partners



AirPlus International


Avis Budget Group

BCD Travel

Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Carlson Family Foundation


Delta Air Lines



EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services

Enterprise Holdings, Inc.



HRS Global Hotel Solutions

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

IHG® - InterContinental Hotels Group

Lufthansa German Airlines

Millennium Hotels and Resorts

Omni Hotels & Resorts

Radius Travel

RoomIt by CWT

SAP Concur

Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts

Southwest Airlines

United Airlines

U.S. Bank



Wyndham Hotel Group

Week in Review

According to BloombergMarriott CEO Arne Sorenson says Trump’s divisive languages and policies are pushing travelers to Canada.

Business Traveler notes Air Canada now offers alternative payment options for its international customers.

4Hoteliers reports Singapore Changi Airport’s new Terminal 4 debuted this week.

According to SkiftStorm Herwart’s high winds disrupted travel across Central Europe on Sunday, leaving five dead and several injured.

Fortune notes United Airlines just started the longest nonstop flight from the United States. The 15- to 18-hour flight covers an 8,700-mile distance and is scheduled to run from Los Angeles International Airport to Singapore Changi Airport.

Skift notes Wall Street Journal launched an online travel site powered by Upside.

According to Travel WeeklyUK hoteliers witnessed a rise in domestic demand over the summer.

The Sun reports European airline Finnair wants to begin weighing passengers before flights in order to streamline operating costs. The airline currently relies on outdated estimates from the European Aviation Safety Agency and wants to figure out an exact weight and balance of the aircraft.

According to U.S. News & World ReportGary/Chicago International Airport opened a new $3 million flight center aimed at corporate travel.

A new study finds corporates lack visibility into travel spend reportsAccording to Skift, the same study found that business travelers rarely use virtual payments, which is a sign of companies’ slow adoption.

Bloomberg notes United is nearing a deal to acquire as many as 40 used Airbus Jetliners.

USA TODAY shares tips on how to fight back against the “beyond our control” excuse often given by airlines, hotels or cruise lines.

Business Traveller reports Qantas Frequent Flyer members will soon be able to earn points through Uber rides.

Business Traveler Booking Priorities

The GBTA Foundation recently released a study in partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel that surveyed more than 500 North American business travelers looking at their booking behaviors, especially related to hotel booking, to learn more about booking priorities and levels of satisfaction.

It turns out travelers have a diverse set of priorities when booking hotels for business travel. When asked to rank the importance of seven factors influencing an “excellent hotel booking experience” two of the three factors most commonly ranked in the top three focus on the outcome of the booking rather than the process. The top three ranked factors are: finding the right hotel for my needs (61 percent), finding the right price (56 percent) and ease of booking process (53 percent).


Finding the right hotel for their needs is a no-brainer to end up in the top three important factors for business travelers. More surprising, given that companies are often footing the bill, is that business travelers show concern about finding the right price. While this could be because travelers have a price ceiling, it could also indicate that business travelers may be receptive to efforts by a travel buyer to convince them to use booking methods that yield the greatest savings.

Regardless of the booking process, travelers are almost universally satisfied with the experience of booking hotel accommodations for their last business trip with 92 percent saying they were either “very satisfied” or “satisfied”.


Want to learn more? Register for a webinar on October 20 where GBTA will further discuss the study and its findings including booking priorities and differences among Baby Boomers and Millennials when it comes to booking behaviors.

Travel Apps: Baby Boomers vs. Millennials

A recent GBTA Foundation study released in partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel surveyed more than 500 North American business travelers looking at business travelers’ booking behaviors and found some interesting differences when it comes to Baby Boomers (55+) and Millennials (18-34) and their use of travel apps.

While smart phones are practically universal among business travelers, adoption of travel apps is not. Less than half of the business travelers surveyed have downloaded airline (46 percent), hotel (45 percent), travel reservation (34 percent) or general travel (23 percent) apps.

When given a selection of purposes for travel apps, business travelers were most likely to use them for checking their flight status (39 percent), flight check-in (38 percent), navigation (37 percent), looking up information (34 percent) and booking hotels (33 percent). Less common uses included expense tracking (18 percent), making restaurant reservations (18 percent) and requesting a taxi/rideshare service (16 percent).

Both Millennials and Gen-X (35-54) travelers are more likely than Baby Boomers to have downloaded each of four types of travel apps (hotel, travel reservation, general travel and review) on their smart phones. Millennials and Gen-X travelers have similar adoption rates with the exception of ground transportation apps, downloaded by Millennials at a higher rate.


When it comes to how the apps are used, Millennials are more likely than Baby Boomers to use apps for booking hotels, hotel check-in, booking car rentals, checking reviews and online translation. Gen-X travelers are more likely than Baby Boomers to use travel apps for navigation, hotel check-in, tracking expenses, booking car rentals and online translation.

When it comes to awareness of features for hotel apps, Baby Boomers along with low-frequency business travelers are most commonly unaware of all features.


Why Use Travel Apps?

When asked why they use travel apps, business travelers commonly mention convenience, ease of use and having access to information.


What Does this Mean for Travel Programs?
The levels of adoption for travel apps are similar to adoption rates of other types of apps including banking, games, search and navigation, so this area presents an opportunity for travel programs to assess and incorporate the mobile apps that they consider useful and could help travelers not only stay compliant with travel policy, but also make the experience of business travel a better one.

Want to know more? Register for a webinar on October 20 where GBTA will further discuss the study and its findings.