Loyalty and amenities continue to top business travellers’ hotel wish list

Most European and US business travellers are satisfied with their rate allowances for booking hotels, but a solid portion also have expressed a desire for a higher level of allowance, new research has identified.


Summary:

  • While most European and US business travellers are satisfied with their allowances for booking hotels, a solid portion have expressed a desire for a higher allowance;
  • Two thirds of respondents to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) survey said they would like a higher rate allowance to stay at preferred properties;
  • Travellers want ‘frills’ and if they had no limits on amenities within their company policies, premium WiFi, gym passes and food delivery services topped the list.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in partnership with RoomIt conducted a online survey in Sep-2018 of 131 US travel buyers and 134 in Europe and provides insight to the travelling habits of corporate travellers from both regions for organisations across the world.

“While the vast majority (78%) of business travellers say they are satisfied with their rate allowances for booking hotels, two-thirds (66% ) also say they would like a higher rate allowance to stay at preferred properties that may better meet their needs,” GBTA stated.

The research indicated US business travellers are more likely to book luxury properties, potentially due to travel policies. Roughly 7% of European buyers said they allow luxury properties in their hotel programmes compared with 16% in the US. On average, 8% of UK travellers and 7% of French business travellers book luxury properties compared with 30% in the US.

“The trend of US travellers booking luxury out of policy may be related to higher dissatisfaction with rate allowance,” GBTA concluded.

The association’s research showed travellers want to use amenities not always included in their travel policy, which leaves room for increased satisfaction. More than three quarters would like bundled rates that include multiple amenities even if the rate is slightly higher.

“Travellers often book bundled rates with the belief that doing so ultimately contributes to cost-savings goals, although that may not necessarily be the case,” the association stated.

CHART – The research shows that American and European business travellers want to use amenities that aren’t always included in their travel policySource: Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) survey, in partnership with RoomIt

If travellers had no limits on amenities within their company policies, premium WiFi, gym passes and food delivery services topped the list.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, an inability to earn loyalty points could drive traveller dissatisfaction. Roughly 71% of survey respondents believe if they give up their time to travel, they should have an ability to earn loyalty points. Just over half, 51%, would risk being reprimanded for booking outside of policy if it meant they could book a hotel and earn loyalty points.

The ability to build up loyalty points seems more important to US travellers; about 15% of corporate travellers in the country conclude the ability to earn loyalty points is a factor in choosing where to book. Approximately 52% said they would never consider booking a hotel where they could not earn loyalty points compared to 37% in France and 31% in the UK.