What do business travellers want?
2019 is already looking to be a flourishing year of dynamic change in the corporate travel sector. Business traveler trends continue to evolve at a rapid pace, where the response by the travel sector as well as the corporate one is to adapt and create new tools and technologies.
Business travellers seem to not have any sign of slowing down, according to the World Bank, international travel departures have more than doubled from roughly 600 million to 1.3 billion over the last two decades, and the Global Business Travel Association, predicts a $1.6 trillion business travel market by 2020 (Skift Trend Report).
One key, main point, which is repeated over and over again by modern business travellers is that business travel must put people, not policies, first. Furthermore, flexibility and personalisation are the two points that are highlighted to make this possible.
Guillermo Gaspart, founder of BYHOURS, explains: “The current business model of the travel sector is structured around the needs of the customer and is geared towards catering to them. Today, business travellers demand flexibility, which is influenced by social networks and the digital world, which breaks away from the traditional way of traveling, booking, purchasing, and living experiences throughout their work itinerary,
Many young business travellers feel that outdated corporate travel tools and policies are crippling their travel possibilities and options. They are used to the freedom of using mobile apps and sharing economy services to book their holidays, taxis, flights, and in general for most parts of their lives, therefore they want the same booking options for their business travel experiences.
BYHOURS carried out a survey and found out that business travellers seek destinations that allow them to combine business with leisure, and where they can explore the possibility of having free time during their trip. Moreover, when planning a business trip, business travellers don´t want to choose between luxury comfort or the ability to work from the hotel room and book meeting rooms in the hotel, they want the whole experience in one.
Business travellers seek these key features:
1. Personalized services:
A few factors that business travellers take into account when choosing the accommodation on a trip:.
good quality WiFi, free or available coffee 24 hours a day, rooms in the hotel fully equipped for a business meeting (tv screens, bluetooth, wifi…), flexible hotel booking services, hotel service for hours, proximity of the hotel to the meeting place….
From booking to checkout, our research confirms personalization is key to business travelers, with many seeking customized hotel experiences that are tailored to fit their business travel needs, for example customers might book a hotel specifically because it has a gym inside the hotel or even because there are mats for yoga available.
2. Social experience:
The new generation of business travelers looks for opportunities to socialize, activities to share and meet people, while they work.
People enjoy being able to share spaces such as working areas in the hotel, bars, terraces and lobbys as they can interact with other guests.
3. Combining work with pleasure:
With the increasing globalization of business and technology, business and leisure travel are blurring even more. There is no longer a reason for the business traveler to have to sacrifice leisure in order to be successful in their profession as many modern-day business travellers make the most of their hours on a trip by extending their stay there or enjoying themselves around their work commitments.
Location is fundamental for business travelers. For example, in the case of an early flight, a business traveller might book a hotel located in the airport terminal itself as it means they avoid the travel time and travel stress involved getting to the airport. Below are examples of BYHOURS hotels found inside or by airports. On BYHOURS you can also find out if the hotel offers free shuttle service to the airport.
Also being in a central location or by a business centre can certainly be a factor that influences purchase decisions.
In conclusion, no matter the trend, there is one common theme: it is people, not policies, that will drive the future of business travel innovation.