GBTA Foundation and American Express release latest GBTA Business Traveller Sentiment Index Global Report – January 2017
Ride-sharing services are now allowed by one-half (50 per cent) of all corporate travel policies, a jump from 44 per cent in June 2016, according to the GBTA Business Traveller Sentiment Index™ Global Report – January 2017, in partnership with American Express. The Index examines business travellers’ feelings about their trip experience and how those feelings affect their behaviours on the road.
As policies expanded to include ride-sharing suppliers, such as Uber and Lyft, ridership among business travellers increased 21 per cent. A majority of travellers anticipate using these types of services about the same amount (71 per cent) or more often (18 per cent) in the three months following the survey.
Use of home-sharing services, like Airbnb and HomeAway, also increased 20 per cent from June 2016, despite only 30 per cent of companies allowing this stay option. A majority of business travellers expect to stay at home-sharing properties about the same amount (72 per cent) or more often (13 per cent) in the three months following the survey.
“The sharing economy trends that have come to define personal travel are now significantly influencing business travel as well,” says Susan Chapman Hughes, Senior Vice President, American Express Global Commercial Payments. “However, nearly one in five travellers are still unsure whether their employer’s policies allow for sharing-economy services; making it especially important for companies to communicate clear details about the services and amenities that their policy covers.”
Business travellers find it tough to stay fit on the road
Being on the road can mean exercising less for many business travellers. Of those who work out regularly at home, 45 per cent don’t exercise as often during work trips, either because they don’t have the time (71 per cent), are too tired (47 per cent), are out of their normal fitness routine (29 per cent) or because their hotel does not have a fitness center (17 per cent). Nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of regular exercisers say they often consider access to fitness facilities or walkable areas when choosing business travel accommodations.
Millennials (ages 18-34) are more likely to work out every trip or almost every trip (46 per cent), compared to 41 per cent of GenXers (35-54) and 38 per cent of Baby Boomers (55+).
Employees stay dedicated to work trips
Business travellers remain dedicated to staying on the road for work. Almost nine out of 10 (88 per cent) say they would prefer to travel the same amount or more in the future and 64 per cent agree their employers feel business travel is important to their organization’s overall financial performance.
“GBTA has said many times that business travel drives lasting business growth,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA Executive Director and COO. “It comes as no surprise that business travellers and their companies see the value in putting travellers on the road to get business done and drive results.”
More key highlights
Strong demand for reliable Wi-Fi continues, with more than three-quarters (77 per cent) of business travellers saying it is vital to stay productive on work trips. Travellers are most satisfied with Wi-Fi offered by hotels (83 per cent) and less so with service on airplanes (49 per cent) or trains (48 per cent).
Millennials are often the most active age group on social media during work-related trips, but now other generations are catching up. For the first time in the history of this survey, more than one-half (54 per cent) of all business travellers say they use social media sites at least once a day. Fifty percent believe social media improves their ability to find travel supplier reviews and almost the same amount (46 per cent) say social sites improve their ability to reach colleagues or business contacts.
Business travellers continue to favor corporate cards over other payment forms for trip-related expenses. Though still in the minority, the amount of business travellers using mobile wallets tied to corporate cards increased to 14 per cent from 12 per cent in June 2016. Mobile wallets are especially popular in Hong Kong (20 per cent) and Mexico (19 per cent).
Between September 6-26, 2016, the GBTA Foundation conducted an online survey of 3,220 business travellers whose primary residences are located in Australia, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States, who are employed full- or part-time, and who have taken at least four business trips in the previous 12 months.