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Business travel

Robust environment for business travel is consistent with overall market strength

Helena Tzioti - 15 March 2013, 13:39

According to survey fielded by Newsweek & The Daily Beast and Orbitz for Business, in the past 12 months, over 37 percent of respondents took five or more business trips and nearly 39 percent stayed at least 20 hotel nights.

CHICAGO - Business travel serves as an important barometer for overall economic outlook and sentiment, and consistent with Wall Street's strong first quarter, employers started out the year bullish with 74 percent of business travelers expecting the same amount or more business travel in 2013, compared to last year,according to a survey of business travelers conducted by the Newsweek & The Daily Beast research department in partnership with Orbitz for Business, the corporate travel brand of Orbitz Worldwide.

Online adoption is also strong with 90 percent of respondents booking travel online at least some of time and 67 percent booking at least three fourths of their trips online. Mobile represents a distinct area of opportunity with only 12 percent of respondents using a mobile device to book flights or hotel rooms. In comparison, leisure travel booked on Orbitz.com sees much higher mobile penetration, with nearly 25 percent of hotel bookings now being generated through mobile channels. The survey found that over 81 percent of all respondents indicated they are "very satisfied" or "mostly satisfied" with the processes in place to plan, book and execute their business trips.

Among respondents who participate in an employer-mandated corporate travel program, 72 percent were "mostly satisfied" or "completely satisfied" with their employer's managed travel guidelines and 96 percent feel "very obligated" or "somewhat obligated" to save money for their company when they travel. Further demonstrating an inclination towards policy compliance, 56 percent of managed travelers reported that they never book travel outside company policy and an additional 33 percent said they do so less than 25 percent of the time.

"The results of this survey reinforce what we've learned from our clients – booking travel online provides a much more satisfying user experience, as evidenced by our customers' 90 percent online adoption rate, and business travelers save money for their employer by complying with corporate policy wherever possible," said Mark Walton, vice president of global strategic accounts at Orbitz for Business. "Since business travel is an important driver of economic growth, we must continue to provide the service, technology and tools that give travelers the most convenient and cost effective travel options."

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • In the past 12 months, over 37 percent of respondents took five or more business trips and nearly 39 percent stayed at least 20 hotel nights
  • Among those respondents in a managed travel program, 47 percent book their own travel while only 17 percent report their travel being booked by the company travel department
  • Only 34 percent of managed travelers who book their own trips are "very satisfied" with the technology available to plan and book travel
  • Customer service is one aspect of business travel that remains largely in the offline world – nearly 65 percent of respondents prefer to phone a customer service agent if there are any issues while on a business trip
  • When it comes to company reimbursement for travel related extras, 65 percent say their company will reimburse for the first checked bag but only 23 percent will be reimbursed for the second. Meanwhile, 58 percent of respondents can expense the cost of hotel room Internet service but only 15 percent can expect reimbursement for in-flight Internet access.

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