The global business travel industry is rapidly growing. Business travel spending worldwide amounted to approximately 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars in 2016, and it is forecast to rise to 1.6 trillion U.S. dollars by the year 2020. While the US is the top country for business travel, nations like China and Germany are not too far behind.
Astonishing figures that indicate that in-person meetings, site visits, team-building, event and conferences cornerstones of business travel continue to thrive in spite of significant advances in technology.
We recently had a chance to talk to several of our business travel clientele and enquired about their requirements and needs to serve them better.
In the world of business, travel convenience is the buzzword while choosing an airline or a hotel. Business travelers would like travel managers to book them on flights, which ideally fly directly to their destination or then have the least troublesome connections for according to reports flight delays are the number one concern for business travelers in the US.
As for business travel accommodation, travelers would like to use hotels located within proximity of where they have to attend meetings so that they don’t need to spend time and money on local travel. It would also help if the hotel were near dining and nightlife options.
Technology at their fingertips
Business travelers want to be able to work whenever they want or need to during a work trip, and it helps if the airline they choose provides Wi-Fi onboard for free or at a nominal cost. Similarly, they want the hotel that they stay at to have a reliable and stable Wi-Fi network which is preferably free to use.
Whether in the air or on the ground, a business traveler relishes a comfortable environment. Not all travel budgets allow for business class travel but if the travel department can secure a business class seat for little more than the price of the coach cabin then it is worth considering it to keep the business traveler happy and aid productivity.
As for the hotel rooms, business travelers prefer that their hotel rooms be spacious and be outfitted with a desk. They would also like a place where they don’t need to rearrange furniture to find electrical outlets for their devices.
Their wish list also includes a hotel text system or app where they can report in-room issues and can get resolutions speedily. Online check-in systems with a speedy kiosk checkout at hotels are some of their other requests.
Business travelers value service-providers who go the extra mile and provide excellent value for their regular patronage. Be it an airline, which offers amenities like free lounge access or extra legroom for business travelers in coach or then hotels who provide freebies like spa treatments and food and beverage discounts; excellent customer service goes a long way to build loyalty with business travelers. Moreover, we know corporate travel departments and business travelers expect and appreciate loyalty schemes offered by their travel providers.