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Business travel essential but frustrating, survey finds

3 min read

A gap in the user experience between consumer and corporate travel platforms leaves many business travelers frustrated – and booking outside of approved tools.

Nevertheless, a majority (90%) of business travelers believe travel is essential to driving growth for their companies, and 91% prefer to close a deal in person, even if it requires air travel.

Those are some of the results of a survey of 2,900 business travelers in the United States conducted by TripActions in June 2018 and detailed in its 2018 State of Business Travel Report.

Respondents said they were frustrated by the limited inventory options in corporate travel management solutions, which causes them to spend too much time in the booking process. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed said it take them more than an hour to book a trip.

Two-thirds of respondents said they feel like they are on their own to handle things such as delays, cancellations and overbooked hotels while traveling for work. Only 8% said their travel agent proactively reaches out to them when plans change.

Because of these frustrations, 50% of respondents said they do not use the corporate travel solution provided by their company.

Face-to-face first

Despite these concerns, 90% of those surveyed see traveling as a perk of their job and 80% say they are more excited about their job after traveling.

While video conferencing systems enable virtual meetings, 67% of those surveyed said it is difficult to build business relationships over video.

TripActions suggests “high-value meetings should be held in person, while technology can do the job in the case of quicker check-ins or cross-functional one-offs.”

Companies are also advised to understand the expectations that millennial and Gen Z employees have about travel.

The survey found 36% of respondents from these generations seek unique accommodations such as boutique hotels and private rentals, they prefer shared car services for ground transportation and are less interested in loyalty programs.

In March, TripActions raised $51 million in a Series B round to continue building its corporate travel management solutions. The company launched in 2016 and has raised just under $80 million to date.

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