Travel reviews most requested new feature by business travellersNew research conducted on behalf of Amadeus UK by Audiencenet, found that half of the research respondents (50%) believe the ability to get face to face with customers, colleagues or other business partners is essential, with this figure rising to 64% in the Generation Y, ‘digital native’ 18-34 age group. The research, which questioned 445 UK regular business travellers in September 2014, also found that new accommodation models could enter the business market with one fifth of overall respondents (18%) commenting that they would consider shared accommodation (for example, airbnb) to bring down the cost of travel. However, among younger ‘gen Y’ business travellers, this rises to 54%.
The majority (60%) of respondents surveyed would value a richer booking experience with consumer travel style reviews with tips on rooms and hotels from other business travellers offered by their corporate booking platform. However, only 4% of respondents prioritised being offered photos. Additionally, if business travellers could control just one aspect of their corporate trip, it would be hotel choice (37%), narrowly beating flights (34%).
Leisure versus business
A significant proportion (63%) of business travellers go online to research and book their leisure hotel themselves. This trend is now reflected in the behaviour of the business traveller as 69% of respondents admitting to spending time comparing hotel prices outside of their corporate travel system, with 12% spending on average more than 20 minutes.
The role of travel management
86% of travellers commented that they are offered the hotels they want most of the time through their corporate booking platform. 68% of travellers said that their travel environment is also flexible enough to allow them to take part in their preferred loyalty scheme. 44% of travellers noted that ability to offer preferential and negotiated rates on corporate travel was the top way travel management companies (TMCs) add value to the booking process. However, only 28% of corporate travel solutions enable bookings via mobile devices, with just a further 5% intending to offer in the next 12 months.
Diane Bouzebiba, Managing Director of Amadeus UK & Ireland commented, “Sitting at the crossroads of travel and technology, Amadeus is well positioned to work with TMCs and other industry stakeholders to make corporate travel a smarter, more hassle-free experience. The first step in this process is to understand what makes business travellers tick, which is why we commissioned this research in association with the Guild of Travel Management Companies. The results are shared in the report, Business Travel Insights: Hotels 360. It reveals what is important to business people of all generations in the UK and Ireland when travel includes an overnight stay. Importantly, it takes a 360 degree view with perspectives from TMCs, hotel providers and members of the Institute of Travel & Meetings (ITM). Such insights will help Amadeus to continue developing evolving technologies as we work together to shape the future of travel.”
Paul Wait, Chief Executive Officer at the Guild of Travel Management Companies (GTMC) added; "The connected traveller has checked-in and is here to stay. Individual travellers understand how to build their own itineraries and shop around for deals, so to keep people engaged and on-plan, it is vital that the service offered by TMCs meets their needs and stretches their ideas whilst balancing the financial and safety aspirations of their company. We are delighted that this research shows so clearly that travel management companies are meeting the needs of so many, keeping travellers on-plan and within budget.”