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

How Do German and British Business Travellers Feel about Ground Transportation Loyalty Programs?

One of the perks of being a frequent business traveller is gaining points and status through the loyalty programs of preferred ground, air and hotel providers. Indeed, being able to get an upgrade and/or earn additional extras that business travellers value makes being on the road for business that much more pleasant.

But how valuable are these loyalty programs? A new GBTA Foundation study sponsored by Enterprise, Rental Car Rewards: A Look at Ground Transportation Loyalty Programs in the United Kingdom and Germany, explores the habits and trends that are affecting the loyalty programs of ground transportation companies in two of Europe’s biggest business travel markets.

Business travellers in the UK and Germany infrequently use rental cars – only about one experience per quarter – yet business travellers in both countries say they are satisfied for the most part with their rental car experiences, with more than 60 percent in both countries expressing satisfaction.

Preferred contracts with ground transportation companies are common in both Germany – 88 percent – and the United Kingdom – 76 percent. However, a majority of business travellers in both countries do not feel the existence of a membership club or loyalty program is important. Travel buyers in the United Kingdom, though, value these types of programs much more than those in Germany do with 42 percent claiming these programs are very or somewhat important compared to 14 percent.

enterprise_importance of rental car company membership club

Even though travel buyers in the United Kingdom feel loyalty rewards programs are more important than those in Germany, such programs are much more common in German contracts.

Paradoxically, although travellers in the UK and Germany do not frequently rent cars or see the value in ground loyalty rewards programs, 68 percent of German business travellers and 77 percent of British business travellers say that having access to expedited rentals is important. Similarly, UK and German based companies value expedited rentals at just about the same rates as the individual travellers.


What this latest study found is that while car rental loyalty programs themselves are not seen as valuable, the benefits that they provide – namely expedited rentals – are highly valued by both businesses and business travellers in the United Kingdom and Germany.

High Interest in Corporate Travel Loyalty Programs

By GBTA Foundation

A recent study from the GBTA Foundation found high interest in both corporate hotel loyalty programs and adding incentives to individual programs to encourage booking through authorized channels.

The study, Making Hotel Loyalty Programs Work for You and Your Travel Program, sponsored by Hilton Worldwide, surveyed more than 200 U.S. Corporate Travel Managers and revealed a large majority (77 percent) of Travel Managers are “somewhat interested” or “very interested” in a corporate loyalty program that rewards companies through various discounts and perks.


In addition, 72 percent are “somewhat interested” or “very interested” in allowing travelers to belong to individual loyalty programs to accrue points more quickly if they book through a channel agreed upon by both the Travel Manager and the hotel. Hilton_72percent

Some corporate hotel loyalty programs do exist, but they are not common. As they become more common though, these programs have the potential to fill a gap for smaller companies who might not have preferred agreements or cover geographic areas where existing agreements aren’t in place allowing Travel Managers more control over such programs.

Another major finding of the study revealed a majority of corporate Travel Managers agree loyalty programs play a role in their travel programs. Two-thirds (66 percent) agree hotel loyalty programs play at least a “slightly important” role in their negotiations with hotels, and one in five admit they play a “very important” or “extremely important” role.

Additionally, the study revealed that hotel loyalty programs are an important consideration for many Travel Managers when choosing preferred hotels. The primary role that loyalty programs play for Travel Managers is encouraging corporate travel policy compliance and driving greater volume to preferred hotels. In fact, one-third of Travel Managers say they actively inform travelers about hotel loyalty programs.

Most loyalty programs reward individual travelers for staying at hotel chains, but these programs can also align with the goals of corporate travel programs to promote compliance, improve traveler satisfaction and extract value from hotel stays. While the primary goal of loyalty programs is to incentivize travelers to be brand loyal, continued partnerships with Travel Managers can also prevail.