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Business travellers seek convenience over comfort

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A new survey reveals that business travellers most value convenient travel times and hotel locations, along with direct flights, over personal comforts such as flying in business class or earning loyalty points.

The study conducted by Egencia, the business travel arm of Expedia, surveyed more than 5,500 travellers around the world and found that the vast majority (90 per cent) enjoy travelling for business.

But when it comes to booking, respondents revealed they are more motivated by convenient options, with 29 per cent wanting direct flights and 22 per cent choosing more opportune flight times. Overall, 30 per cent agreed they select travel times that best fit their schedule.

When they reach their destination, 31 per cent of business travellers choose hotel options in convenient and safe locations – although 23 per cent still say their top priority is booking a property that is in their company policy. Fourteen per cent said they seek out a good deal or price.

Despite wanting to find more convenient options, 82 per cent of respondents said they always book on policy.

The most common reason given for booking out of policy is that travellers can’t book far enough in advance to meet guidelines, cited by 49 per cent of respondents.

The biggest complaint with travel programmes reported by business travellers is that price constraints impact the quality of their lodging (31 per cent), followed by limited upgrade options (15 per cent). Not being able to add perks such as lounge access or expedited security queue programmes ranks in the top three factors affecting in-policy bookings in the UK, US, Germany and Sweden.

Wendy White, VP of marketing at Egencia, commented: “The days of mindless cost cutting out of a travel programme are now gone. While travel managers are still expected to deliver savings, the stakes are now much higher. Company culture, employer brand, capacity to attract and retain talent – these are key to the growth and success of companies. The modern travel manager knows that and will set the travel programme to play a determining role in shaping the company future.”

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