Industry Research

Survey Points To Bullish Outlook On Business Travel

Posted on March 18, 2013

CHICAGO — Business travel serves as an important barometer for overall economic outlook and sentiment, and consistent with Wall Street's strong first quarter, employers started out the year bullish with 74% of business travelers expecting the same amount or more business travel in 2013, compared to last year, according to a survey of business travelers conducted by the Newsweek & The Daily Beast research department in partnership with Orbitz for Business, the corporate travel brand of Orbitz Worldwide.

Online adoption is also strong with 90% of respondents booking travel online at least some of the time and 67% booking at least three fourths of their trips online. Mobile represents a distinct area of opportunity with only 12% of respondents using a mobile device to book flights or hotel rooms. In comparison, leisure travel booked on Orbitz.com sees much higher mobile penetration, with nearly 25% of hotel bookings now being generated through mobile channels. The survey found that more than 81% of all respondents indicated they are “very satisfied” or “mostly satisfied” with the processes in place to plan, book and execute their business trips.

Among respondents who participate in an employer-mandated corporate travel program, 72% were “mostly satisfied” or “completely satisfied” with their employer's managed travel guidelines and 96% feel “very obligated” or “somewhat obligated” to save money for their company when they travel. Further demonstrating an inclination towards policy compliance, 56% of managed travelers reported that they never book travel outside company policy, and an additional 33% said they do so less than 25% of the time.

“The results of this survey reinforce what we've learned from our clients — booking travel online provides a much more satisfying user experience, as evidenced by our customers' 90% online adoption rate, and business travelers save money for their employer by complying with corporate policy wherever possible,” said Mark Walton, vice president of global strategic accounts at Orbitz for Business. “Since business travel is an important driver of economic growth, we must continue to provide the service, technology and tools that give travelers the most convenient and cost effective travel options.”

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • In the past 12 months, more than 37% of respondents took five or more business trips and nearly 39% stayed at least 20 hotel nights.
  • Among those respondents in a managed travel program, 47% book their own travel while only 17% report their travel being booked by the company travel department.
  • Only 34% of managed travelers who book their own trips are “very satisfied” with the technology available to plan and book travel
  • Customer service is one aspect of business travel that remains mostly in the offline world — nearly 65% of respondents prefer to phone a customer service agent if there are any issues while on a business trip
  • When it comes to company reimbursement for travel related extras, 65% say their company will reimburse for the first checked bag but only 23% will be reimbursed for the second. Meanwhile, 58% of respondents can expense the cost of hotel room Internet service but only 15% can expect reimbursement for in-flight Internet access.

Survey Methodology

  • Newsweek & The Daily Beast Research Department, in partnership with Orbitz for Business, conducted an online survey via email recruitment of in-tab Newsweek readers
  • The study was fielded between December 14, 2012 and January 1, 2013.
  • 572 business travelers who had taken at least one trip in the past 12 months participated.
  • Potential respondents were incentivized by an Orbitz for Business travel giveaway offering airfare vouchers to a randomly selected, completed-survey respondent.

Source: PR Newswire

Related Topics: business tools, business travel, consumer demand, industry surveys, mobile applications, mobile technology

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