There is increasing talk about being better businesses and employers taking more care of employees’ physical and mental well-being. For road warriors especially this is key as travel is proven to be a big influence on work efficiency. Whether that is multiple short trips or a length visit across multiple time zones, the impact can be similar.
Despite concerns that road warriors could burn out, latest research has revealed that they are actually prepared to travel even more than they currently do. According to the second wave of research released from the GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index, produced in partnership with RoomIt by CWT, the hotel distribution division of CWT, more than two thirds (68%) of business travellers say they would travel more often if given the options.
The research also highlights that business travellers remain optimistic and sentiment remains strong despite economic headwinds in some parts of the world. Senior-level business travellers including senior/executive management (74%) and directors (77%) agree the health of the economy is excellent.
It shows global business traveller sentiment concerning trip experiences improved modestly over last quarter, growing 0.4 points with growth highest among US travellers, up +5.7 points from last quarter. This suggests a growing satisfaction with the overall travel experience.
Technology has been a key factor influencing business travel sentiment. The study confirms the importance of technology and shows that it also is a key area of differentiation when travellers assess their satisfaction with their business travel.
“Establishing a better traveller experience sets the foundation for increasing compliance and savings in hotel programmes,” says Peggy Studer, RoomIt by CWT vice president of marketing. “Having innovative and modern technology that serves travellers relevant search results or automatically rebooks lower room rates streamlines finding and booking the right room, keeping travellers not only more productive, but overall happier.”
The technological advances in the travel sector are certainly helping to drive the enhanced traveller sentiment, allowing them to be more productive and ultimately willing to travel even more. As Scott Solombrino, GBTA COO and executive director, highlights, this particularly “bodes well for our industry and the global economy”.
When it comes to hotel technology, the latest research highlights as would be expected that global business travellers widely use in-room hotel internet with four in five (80%) saying they spend an average of at least one hour per day using in-room Internet to do work, while over half (51%) spent at least two hours per day using it to work. Two in five business travellers (41%) accessed the Internet using their own hotspot or a hotspot provided by their companies—this was especially common in Asia Pacific, according to the findings.
The Index also illustrates that business travellers are interested in a variety of different innovations from hotels both currently available as well as future hotel technology innovations.
Among those currently available, the items most requested by over a third of business travellers are in-room chargers for laptops and/or phones (39% ranked this in the top five of 15 options), streaming services on guests televisions (38%), Smart TVs with Internet access (38%) and online or mobile check-in and/or check-out (37%).
Looking to the future, half of respondents (50%) ranked mobile app technology that would allow them to control aspects of their room (such as temperature, lighting and window blinds) in their top two desires out of six options. More than a third similarly ranked body sensors that can detect when a room is occupied to control energy use and plan housekeeping visits (38%) and personalised rooms (scents, colours, art etc) (34%) among their top two selections.
More details on the interest in current and future innovations are highlighted in the following infographic…