According to a recent survey, more than half (54 per cent) of business travellers have experienced “mishaps” during work trips, but 86 per cent say they are satisfied with their travels overall.

The latest GBTA Business Traveller Sentiment Index in partnership with RoomIt by CWT found 52 per cent of the more than 2,000 global business travellers polled have had a flight delayed, while 40 per cent have had a flight cancelled. Twenty-five per cent have had luggage go missing or get damaged, 20 per cent have lost equipment and 19 per cent have fallen ill, been injured or needed medication during a work trip.

Other occurrences reported in the survey include visa challenges (17 per cent), emergency return travel (16 per cent) and car incidents (15 per cent).

Despite running into these issues, 86 per cent of travellers said they are content with their overall business travel experiences – a good sign, considering 54 per cent of those surveyed said this factor has the biggest impact on their satisfaction.

While flights are a leading factor in overall traveller experience, the components of a trip that most closely correlated with satisfaction in the survey were hotel-driven.

Conveniently located hotels and consistent wifi access topped the list of the most important factors for travellers at 87 per cent each, followed closely by hotel amenities at 83 per cent. Location was deemed more imperative by travellers in Latin America (52 per cent) and North America (44 per cent) than by those in Europe (32 per cent) and Asia Pacific (30 per cent), while wifi access was named as a key factor by 60 per cent of Latin American travellers.

Furthermore, the survey revealed that 83 per cent of those surveyed consider the fitness facilities available at their hotel when making a booking, such as an on-site gym or proximity to walkable areas. Half said they make time for exercise on nearly every trip, while 23 per cent admitted they work out more on a business trip than they do at home.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the top wellness concern for travellers was lack of sleep (37 per cent), followed by the general stress of a work trip (34 per cent) and unhealthy eating (33 per cent). When it comes to wellness options at hotels, participants said they prefer in-room filtered drinking water (77 per cent), healthy food delivery (73 per cent) and air purifiers (71 per cent).

GBTA COO and executive director Scott Solombrino commented: “Traveller experience has been an industry buzz word for the past few years now, but the survey results clearly demonstrate just how much it really does matter to road warriors. 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.”

Download an infographic of the survey findings here

The Business Traveller Sentiment Index will be discussed during an interactive education session at the GBTA Convention 2019 in Chicago at 0845 on Monday, 5 August, as well as during an encore presentation at 1245 on Wednesday, 7 August.

gbta.org; roomit.com

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