A new survey from the Global Business Travel Association finds that travel mishaps don’t dampen the experience as much as a hotel that doesn’t live up to business traveler expectations.
Traveling comes with its share of headaches and mishaps, of course, but the average road warrior seems to take them in stride.
That’s according to the Global Business Travel Association, which reported that 54 percent of business travelers had faced some kind of travel hiccup, such as a delayed or canceled flight. Despite that, GBTA’s Business Traveler Sentiment Index, conducted with Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s RoomIt division, found that most people (86 percent) were pretty happy with their travel experiences overall.
Travel experience issues were among the most important for satisfaction, with 54 percent of respondents citing it as a key factor. But while experiences like travel delays can certainly sour the mood for any traveler, GBTA said the thing that really makes or breaks a good travel experience is lodging.
“Given the large percentage of travelers who have experienced air disruptions, it is no surprise flights were a leading factor in traveler experience,” GBTA said in a news release. “Yet the travel components most closely correlated with travel satisfaction are hotel-driven, including staying at conveniently located hotels, booking air and hotel, the hotel check-in/checkout process, and payment for travel arrangements.”
Among the most-valued amenities are free breakfast at the hotel and access to travel rewards and perks. And the hotel fitness room is a priority for many, with 83 percent of respondents saying that having workout facilities or nearby walkable areas is key when booking a hotel. Nutrition is also a key factor for business travelers, who cite access to filtered drinking water (77 percent), healthy food delivery (73 percent), and air purifiers (71 percent) as things they’d like to see.
Some of the preference for amenities varies globally: For example, travelers in North America and Latin America are more concerned with having a conveniently located hotel than their counterparts in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region. Same with wireless, which roughly 60 percent of travelers in Latin America consider highly important.
Ultimately, the data highlights a need for flexibility among employers so travelers have room to define their own experiences, says Scott Solombrino, GBTA’s chief operating officer and executive director.
“Traveler experience has been an industry buzzword for the past few years now, but the survey results clearly demonstrate just how much it really does matter to road warriors,” Solombrino said in the release. “As the workforce continues to diversify, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to business travel, meaning choice and flexibility should be a key consideration when developing travel policies.”