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Report: Travelers Hate Friction, but Could Technology Help?

By / Oct 10, 2017 (NicoElNino/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

A new report from the Global Business Travel Association Foundation and Sabre suggests that travel time, layovers, and expense reports wear out business travelers, but it suggests that the pain could be lessened with a higher reliance on mobile tools.

This might not be a surprise to you, but as it turns out, the most painful part of a work trip somewhere is the transit part.

That’s according to a recent report from the Global Business Travel Association Foundation (GBTA Foundation), which, in collaboration with the travel technology firm Sabre, found that travelers worldwide labeled the time spent in transit as the most frustrating part of a trip.

In North America, 61 percent of travelers put transit time within their top five most difficult aspects of business travel. Layovers were nearly as bad, with 48 percent of respondents ranking it among their top five. Other top frustrations included changing reservations during a trip (42 percent), work environments in transit (41 percent), and preparing expense reports (37 percent). While there were some variances based on global market (layovers were much less of a frustration in the Asia-Pacific market, for example), the above issues were fairly common worldwide.

Since the frustrations were so universal (GBTA noted that the common thread was time consumption), GBTA and Sabre officials focused their comments on what they see as technology’s role in easing some of these burdens.

“When it comes to pain points and challenging aspects of business travel, travelers all around the world experience similar frustrations,” GBTA Research Director Monica Sanchez told Skift. “When we looked at the perks, amenities, and technology that improve the traveler experience, however, we began to see some differences.”

The report suggested that tools like automated destination information, mobile expense reporting, itinerary management, safety tracking, and mobile payments might help ease the travel process in the long run. (Younger travelers particularly spoke positively about mobile payments.)

“A better understanding of the challenges business travelers face can help organizations better serve their road warriors as they work to provide the right tools, resources, and policies,” GBTA Executive Director and COO Michael W. McCormick added in a news release.

The full report is available for free only to GBTA members, but Sabre has an insights deck available on its website [registration].

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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