Amadeus examines changing face of UK business travel

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28th Jan 2013
Amadeus examines changing face of UK business travel

Amadeus has today released a report - Amadeus Business Travel Insights: the 21st Century Business Traveller - which charts the behaviour and aspirations of business travellers across the UK.

The report is based on a survey of over 400 UK and Ireland adults, who work for large companies and regularly travel for business and was conducted in December 2012, by ICM Research on behalf of Amadeus UK.

Key findings include from the report include an understanding that technology is changing the face of business travel.

A tipping point has been reached in the ability to book online: the data displays new opportunities for self managed travel as two thirds of travellers are now able to book their business travel through an online booking tool.

Only a third of travellers are able to book travel on a mobile or tablet device, providing a significant area of opportunity for travel managers, TMCs and technology companies to put their knowledge and company policies in the hands of the traveller. 

Itinerary change management

Half (51 per cent) of the survey respondents had to make changes to their travel plans in 2012 with 37 per cent having to amend their flights whilst on the road. 

These statistics indicate a clear opportunity for the travel department to add value as only 30 per cent of travellers said the department had been ‘very effective’ at making the necessary amendments to their bookings.

One third (34 per cent) of travellers surveyed said that they had gone “off plan” during their 2012 business travel.

However, this increased to half (51 per cent) for those travellers who made 11 or more trips in 2012, nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of them went “off plan” at least five times during the year.

Commenting on the findings, Diane Bouzebiba, managing director of Amadeus, UK & Ireland, said: “These findings clearly identify opportunities for travel departments to introduce new services and technologies that will deliver additional value to travellers.

“Over the course of this year, a particular priority for Amadeus UK is to help corporate travel departments better understand the emerging needs of the 21st century business traveller.

“Putting their expertise in the hands of corporate travellers and exploring mobile technology to facilitate the planning, booking and amendment of travel arrangements, will go a long way to help keep travellers on plan, safe and better connected in 2013 and beyond.”

Convenience

The report found convenience is prioritised by business travellers above cost and comfort, with 62 per cent of respondents stating this was the most important factor when travelling for business.

Just over a fifth (22 per cent) stated cost as their top priority, with only 15 per cent putting comfort first.

Some 32 per cent of the business travellers who took part in our survey would also like to have the opportunity to extend their business trip to include self-funded leisure travel and 14 per cent would like to be provided with information into local sights.

Ambivalence

However, the report delivers some more mixed reading for travel managers.

While half of the travellers surveyed said that they fully understand their company’s corporate travel policy (51 per cent), this leaves nearly half who have a more limited or no understanding.

Respondents demonstrated an inability to pin point the value added by the corporate travel department: nearly half (47 per cent) said that the department neither helped nor hindered the business, 15 per cent said the corporate travel department hindered their ability to do business.

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