Survey: Internet Access, Outlets a Major Draw for Business Travelers

New research from the Global Business Travel Association Foundation also found that app uptake is solid among business travelers, but there is plenty of room for growth.

For business travelers, amenities are nice. But when it comes down to it, they want to get online and charge their devices.

That’s a finding in the latest research by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Foundation into what North American business travelers are looking for.

“Hotel Technology Study: How Do North America-Based Business Travelers Use and Feel about Hotel Technology?”—a survey of 831 U.S. and Canadian business travelers conducted in partnership with Best Western—found that more than 60 percent of  travelers had used in-room internet access made available for free to guests, while another 16 percent had received internet access as a benefit for booking directly or through their rewards programs.

Additionally, nearly three-quarters of passengers (73 percent) used wireless in a common area within the past year.

Most travelers were happy with their internet access, with three-quarters approving of it. But they had a few other requests on their lists.

When asked what new technology perks they’d like to see hotels invest in, two of the three most desired involved charging: an increase in power and USB outlets (35 percent) and more in-room chargers for laptops and phones (32 percent). Also high on the wish list: streaming television services like Netflix and HBO Go. Thirty-four percent of respondents asked for those.

One potential area of growth for hotel chains is their app offerings. According to the study, 61 percent of the business travelers surveyed had downloaded one of the major travel apps; 54 percent of those travelers had downloaded two and 25 percent had downloaded at least three.

Fewer travelers actually use the apps: 43 percent said they use apps to check reservation status, 43 percent to manage rewards, and 39 percent to book rooms.

Monica Sanchez, the GBTA Foundation’s director of research, noted the app opportunity.

“Hotels have room to expand the capabilities of their mobile app as well as promote increased awareness of those capabilities, as the interest is there,” Sanchez said in a news release. “In the future, hotels could invest in innovative new technologies but should also continue to focus on improving existing amenities, especially Wi-Fi, as that remains most important for business travelers.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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