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Best Western's "Back to Business Travel Season" survey

Half of all business travelers use a car most often when traveling for business

Seventeen percent of business travelers plan to travel more for business this fall compared to the fall of 2010 and more than half (56%) expect to travel the same amount for business this fall compared to last year, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Best…

Seventeen percent of business travelers plan to travel more for business this fall compared to the fall of 2010 and more than half (56%) expect to travel the same amount for business this fall compared to last year, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Best Western International, Inc. this month among over 2,000 U.S. adults.

Best Western’s "Back to Business Travel Season" survey also found 51 percent of business travelers most often use a car most often when travelling for business, followed by 36 percent who most often use a plane.

The survey looked at fall business travel trends and amenities that are important to business travelers.  According to survey findings, travelers don’t want to be "nickel and dimed" when on the road, as 80 percent of business travelers expect high-speed Internet to be included in their hotel’s advertised room rate.


"Despite uncertainly on Wall Street, we expect to see a growing number of business travelers back on the road this fall as advance bookings at our hotels are up eight percent this fall over last," said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Best Western International. "Guests and business travelers are growing tired of surprises at check out, and we’re seeing that pricing transparency is growing in importance. All of our properties offer free high-speed Internet as we know that our loyal business guests appreciate it and rightfully so, have come to expect it."

Additional highlights from Best Western’s "Back to Business Travel Season" survey, conducted September 7 through 9, 2011 among 2,038 adults aged 18 and older, include:

– Business travelers expect value. Nearly 40 percent of business travelers say a travel pet peeve is paying for amenities such as breakfast or parking (38 percent) that they expect to be included in the room rate. When it comes to being charged for amenities, 74 percent of business travelers expect parking to be included in a hotel’s advertised room rate and 65 percent expect breakfast to be included.
– Loyalty programs pay for business travelers. Of those business travelers that belong to loyalty programs, 38 percent use hotel-based loyalty programs (i.e., earning points when staying at a specific hotel chain) most often while 34 percent use airline-based programs (i.e., earn miles when flying with a specific airline) most often. Twelve percent of business travelers use a travel branded credit card (i.e., a credit card that, when used, earns miles or points when you fly with a specific airline or stay at specific hotel chain) most often.
– Free hotel room nights are valuable to business travelers. Of loyalty program members, 66 percent of business travelers would like to redeem their loyalty points for free nights at a hotel. Thirty eight percent said they would like to redeem points for retail and restaurant gift cards and 13 percent would redeem points for charitable donations.
– Business travelers are savvy with loyalty programs. Nearly half of business travelers who belong to a travel loyalty program (48 percent) consider themselves an "intermediate" or "savvy" loyalty program user in that they check their points balance often, redeem points and tend to use multiple programs at once.
– Airport woes continue to peeve business travelers. Flight delays and long security lines at the airport are pet peeves amongst 39 and 32 percent of business travelers, respectively. Other travel pet peeves include lack of quality sleep (29 percent) and lack of healthy food options (29 percent).

This "Back to Business Travel Season," which unofficially begins after the Labor Day holiday weekend, business travelers can earn double points with Best Western Rewards during the chain’s Fall Promotion. Guests who stay two separate times at any Best Western hotel worldwide will earn double rewards on their second stay. Points can be redeemed for global free room nights with no blackout dates.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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