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Report: Security, Comfort Top Issues for Business Travelers

By / Apr 27, 2017 (iStock/Thinkstock)

A new report from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) and American Express Global Business Travel finds that safety and quality-of-life issues are at the top of passengers’ minds. Beyond safety, the report further highlights the challenges that home-sharing services will face in the corporate world.

When it comes down to it, business travelers simply want to know that they’re safe. The problem is, they don’t feel quite so safe these days.

According to a new report from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and American Express Global Business Travel, 56 percent of travel buyers reported more concerns about personal safety from travelers—not nearly as high as in September 2016 (65 percent), but still a fairly large concern.

“Geopolitical events are happening faster, and their impact on travel is more important,” Greeley Koch, executive director and CEO of ACTE, told Skift on the matter. “Travel managers used to wake up and think about how many transactions they’d have to handle. Now they’re looking at the headlines.”

The report cites other big concerns about quality of life, the quality of the travel experience, and traveling to and from the U.S. The latter issue, which has cropped up since President Donald Trump took office, was a heightened concern among 54 percent of travelers, according to booking agencies.

The safety issue, interestingly, highlights something of an odd dichotomy among such travelers. As noted last week in a Global Business Travel Association Foundation study, home-sharing has become more popular, but corporate travel providers have avoided using the services because of safety risks. The ACTE report echoes this point, noting that nearly a quarter of travel providers have declined to offer home-sharing services because of safety concerns, but despite this, buyer interest has grown significantly.

Evan Konwiser, a vice president at American Express Global Business Travel, highlighted the chasm in comments to Skift.

“There is a friction there,” Konwiser told the travel site. “We want to be more permissive, but new providers create [safety and security] problems.”

Other notable trends include the increased use of app-based transportation services, low-cost airline carriers, and high-speed rail, along with home-sharing services—though the latter category is more mixed, possibly because of the policy restrictions, which tend to be more limiting than other options for travel.

“Looking deeper at policy and security, the 2017 poll finds that few buyers are using traveler safety as a reason to create policy rules against ‘bleisure,’ bringing family members on trips, or the use of approved sharing economy ground transportation,” the report stated. “That said, sharing economy accommodation appears to be seen as an unacceptable risk by a significant proportion of buyers.”

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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