Research Reveals Gaps Between Business Traveler and Travel Buyer Preferences

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Alexandria, Va.—New research from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), in partnership with HRS, highlights not only business traveler hotel preferences, but also the opinions of travel buyers and procurement executives. The global research covers feedback from more than 600 travel buyers and nearly 2,500 business travelers.

The vast majority of buyers and travelers agree that factors like proximity to work engagement and price are important in selecting a hotel. However, buyers might be undervaluing the importance of experiential factors like proximity to restaurants and entertainment (84 percent travelers, 68 percent buyers), traveler reviews (80 percent travelers, 67 percent buyers), and loyalty program benefits (70 percent travelers, 64 percent buyers).

On top of that, travelers place a higher priority on personalization than travel buyers when it comes to their company’s corporate booking tool. Half of the travelers surveyed say they prefer their online booking tool to offer more hotels with amenities, whereas only one in five travel buyers say this is a need. When it comes to receiving personalized options around upgrades and add-ons in the booking process, 74 percent of travelers cited that as important, versus only 62 percent of travel buyers.

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Centralized and direct corporate payment options are used to varying degrees around the world and may help ease the completion of expense reports, the expense approval process, and the speed of reimbursement. Accordingly, GBTA’s research indicates travelers like the option to pay centrally. Direct payment options negating the need to use a personal credit card could tip the scales in a travelers’ decision on which hotel to book. While 30 percent of travelers typically pay for their hotel through central or direct payment, 88 percent of travelers say if their company offers central or direct payment with a hotel, they would book this property over one that does not offer this method.