Who Are Business Travelers and What do They Want?

Who Are Business Travelers and What do They Want?
The Global Business Travelers Association (GBTA) is a wealth of information for those traveling for business. In a new study sponsored by Concur, they offered a lot of insight into the world of the business traveler.

For example, we learned that the average business traveler is 42 years old, college-educated, and most likely to be male (67%). But we also learned from this study why they travel. The most frequent trips were for meetings (33%) while another 21% were necessary for training, seminars, and conferences, followed by a slightly smaller percentage for sales.

Nearly half of all business travelers are under managed guidelines from their corporate or government travel departments. However, one-third operate with no guidelines at all while 1 in 5 are managed by more structured policies with tighter budget constraints, often limiting their business travelers to certain travel vendors. Perhaps not surprising, this last group was said to be “significantly less successful.”

Overall, three-quarters of the respondents said they were “highly satisfied” with most of their business travel, with almost one-half saying they would like to travel more. More ominous for firms, this means that one out of four business travelers are somewhere between only satisfied and not satisfied with their travel. In addition, more than half have no desire to increase their travel.

The study concluded with a comment that “more needs to be done to help business travelers plan and reduce stress.” A couple troubling aspects identified in the study are in-transit travel and combating the personal hardships that one endures while traveling.

Echoing words similar to mine, Rajeev Singh, president and COO or Concur, noted that “the most important – and for far too long, the most under represented – component within the corporate travel industry is the business traveler.” Virtually all the companies participating in this study, as well as those that didn’t, would do well to review the study’s findings. With simple training techniques, all firms can benefit from reducing employee business travel stress, and perhaps turnover, while increasing productivity and morale.

Disclosure: I am a member of GBTA. Non-members can purchase a copy of this study here at GBTA.org.

As for you, are you in the 75% of travelers who are highly satisfied with their business travel? If not, what would make it better for you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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