Business Travel Shows Growth in 2013

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We have recently talked a lot about the millennial generation and leisure travelers in general, but the business traveler is an equally important segment of the travel industry.

A recent report by Amadeus, a leading travel technology partner and transaction processor for the global travel and tourism industry, studied the travel habits of 400 adults from the U.K. and Ireland who work for large companies and regularly travel for business.  Here are some of the key results they found and why you should take notice.

Business Travel Increased in 2013 Compared to 2012

There was a small increase in total number of business trips taken annually (13.1 trips in 2013 compared to just 12.7 trips in 2012), but the key number to consider is the percentage of individuals who traveled at least once for business.  From 2011 to 2013, this number doubled from four to eight percent.

As the travel industry continues to see growth, the number of companies that feel comfortable sending employees on business trips will likely increase as well.  This could be due to economic factors, or a dedicated effort to expand business opportunities worldwide.

Efficiency is a Key Factor

Obtaining the closes hotel to a meeting venue was the top priority when traveling according to 21% of those surveyed by Amadeus.  The second most important focus in the business travel segment is connectivity as 18% cited the ability to connect to Wi-Fi as their top travel need.

Although these factors are relatively straight-forward, it makes marketing towards this group difficult.  Business travelers do no use the same trip planning process as leisure travelers.  You cannot move the location of your property just so that it is closer to popular meeting areas.  Instead, focus on making the business traveler’s experience as efficient as possible.

This includes offering free Wi-Fi access (something every guest seems to be looking for these days), quality food and beverage choices, and a stream-lined check-in/check-out process (no one wants the lasting impression of a stay to be a lengthy check-out process).

Travel Plays a Significant Role in Employee Satisfaction

In general, business travelers are positive about the impact of travel on working life, with 96% reporting they like business trips or do not mind traveling for business.  The percentage of respondents who found business trips interesting was 55%.

For all of the happy business travelers out there, some individuals have some reservations about business travel with 21% of respondents stating that budget cuts make them less willing to travel, and 19% saying that their company travel policy has a negative impact on how they feel about their employer.

To learn more about the Amadeus survey and business travel trends, click here.

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