Travel Buyer Satisfaction with Compensation Packages on the Rise

Last week, GBTA released its annual Compensation and Benefits study. If you haven’t already seen my post on average incomes for travel buyers increasing 5 percent over 2014, read it here.

Last year travel buyers were noticeably more satisfied with their compensation after a four-year plateau. The trend continues this year as three quarters of buyers are either very satisfied (27 percent) or satisfied (49 percent) with the compensation packages provided by their companies and a shrinking number of respondents report being neutral or dissatisfied.


Time Away from the Office
Travel buyers are split almost evenly between receiving a specific amount of time off for pre-determined uses (51 percent) and a lump sum of paid time off (PTO) (49 percent). Regardless of what type of leave is offered though, 79 percent of buyers report being offered bereavement leave, 71 percent receive maternity leave and 38 percent receive paternity leave.

While a number of valuable benefits are offered to buyers by their companies, few are fully funded. Almost all companies offer health insurance (99 percent), dental insurance (99 percent), vision insurance (96 percent), life insurance (93 percent), a defined contribution plan (e.g. 401k) (93 percent) and short-term disability (90 percent). A majority of employees say their company only covers some of the costs of each benefit. Four out of five buyers say their companies pay in full for conference attendance reimbursement, professional association reimbursement and professional publications reimbursement.

What Drives Satisfaction?
Very satisfied buyers earn an average of 15 percent more ($130,000) than buyers overall. They are also more likely to receive certain benefits when compared to buyers overall, including cell phone reimbursement, flexible work schedules, the ability to work from home, gym memberships and reimbursements for professional publications. In addition, they also work for companies that cover the full cost of grants of company stock, cell phone reimbursement, parking, long-term disability insurance and gym memberships.

While this study is not intended to provide a strict set of rules for what qualifies as the best total compensation package, understanding what drives satisfaction for the buyers who fall into the very satisfied category helps demonstrate which elements of compensation and benefits packages are most valued.