The Business of Travel

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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

AccorHotels

AIG

AirPlus International

ARC

Avis Budget Group

BCD Travel

Best Western Hotels & Resorts

Carlson Family Foundation

Cvent

Delta Air Lines

Denihan

Dinova

EmpireCLS Worldwide Chauffeured Services

Enterprise Holdings, Inc.

GBTA

Hilton

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

WorldAware

WWStay

Wyndham Hotel Group


Business Travelers and Technology: Embracing Self-Service and Personalized Travel Options

Embracing technology is nothing new to the business traveler. The Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. has a vintage travel insurance machine on display that used to be a fixture at airports around the world. The machines were designed for the traveler who needed a little bit more peace of mind regarding the security of air travel. Additionally, the transition from gas station attendants to stations that allowed people to fill up their own vehicles came as business travelers wanted to save time and chose to do things themselves. These examples of a bygone era of business travel demonstrate what a recent GBTA Foundation study, The Digital Business Traveler: A Survey of Business Travelers in North America, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the Nordic Countries, sponsored by Sabre Corporation reinforces. Business travelers now, like then, are embracing technology that makes their travel more personalized and self-service driven.

The study found that more than 7 in 10 business travelers in the United States (78 percent), Italy (77 percent), Canada (74 percent) and Spain (73 percent) prefer using self-service technology to manage their travel, while the rate is slightly lower for the Nordic countries (60 percent) and Germany (56 percent). Additionally, business travelers are willing to share personal information with vendors if it means a more personalized travel experience. In North America and Europe, the vast majority of business travelers want to receive personalized travel options, though they are hesitant to share too much personal information to obtain them.

Sabre Blog Pic

Business travelers in Europe and North America are commonly willing to share details such as their frequent flyer or hotel loyalty number, preferred airline and hotel brands and aircraft seat preferences, but fewer than half would share their travel history, preferred leisure activities while traveling, their business calendar with booked appointments and their social media account names.

The most common uses for travel-related mobile apps by North American business travelers include flight check-in/status, generating an online boarding pass and booking hotels and flights. In the European countries surveyed, business travelers use travel-related apps for many of the same reasons as their North American counterparts. However, compared with U.S.-based business travelers, Germany and Nordic-based travelers are less likely to use travel-related apps for booking, while Spain-based travelers are more likely to do so. The European business travelers surveyed were less likely than North Americans to use apps to request a ride-sharing service or taxi.

Similarly, survey respondents across all countries surveyed stated they would use mobile payment or e-wallet technology for business travel. The share of respondents ranged from 43 percent in the Nordic countries all the way up to 75 percent in Italy. Millennials and Gen-X travelers are much more likely than Baby Boomers to want to use mobile payments.

Booking travel and using mobile payments help business travelers get the customization and self-service options that they want. However, technology also makes it easier for companies to ensure that duty of care protocols can be implemented and followed in a much less cumbersome fashion. Mobile apps commonly developed by TMCs or third-party safety or security firms can assist with duty of care by allowing travelers to check-in with their company upon arrival at a destination or by allowing companies to track their employees’ location and send push notifications in an emergency among other features.

Only a small share of travelers currently use these apps, however. Only 22 percent of survey respondents have used a mobile app to check-in with their company during a trip over the past year and even fewer (15 percent) have used a mobile app that allows their company to track their location. Still, despite low use, 63 percent said they would allow their company to track their location via their mobile device for duty of care purposes.

Regardless of whether the emerging technology is an insurance vending machine next to an airport gate or an entire online travel marketplace that is fully equipped with a traveler’s preferred options, loyalty numbers and frequent itineraries, business travelers continue to embrace technology.