Business Travel Market (BTM) has continued its ‘Optimising Business Travel Performance’ theme by revealing on day two of the event the results of a survey conducted in conjunction with BTM official conference programme co-ordinator, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE). The survey focused on the disruption to lifestyles caused by business travel, particularly in the areas of sleep patterns and food and drink consumption, whilst away from home. Not surprisingly the survey revealed sleep and diet problems but the good news is that business travellers still get a buzz out of travelling.
The results showed that nearly 50% (48.6) of business travellers surveyed consume more or significantly more food and drink when away on business, clearly reflecting long established views of the industry. However, crucially, nearly 80% (78.1) of those surveyed consider experiencing new cultures as the most enjoyable part of travelling for business. This offers a real opportunity to transport and hotel providers who tap into local markets and provide a food and drink offering which ties into the local markets where they operate.
As to be expected, sleep is a huge factor in ensuring that executives are prepared for business during trips but the survey revealed that 65% struggle to sleep whilst in transit or during their time away. With 49% of those surveyed positioning room comfort facilities such as a choice of pillows as a key factor in enabling them to relax, hotel providers must ensure that these types of facilities are available to guests. From a technological perspective, 57% of business travellers would consider Wi-Fi as crucial to their ability to relax, sending another key message to industry providers that it’s not just the bar and fitness facilities which guests consider as deciding factors when choosing where to stay.
The survey results illustrate the opportunities available to transport and hotel providers if they react to business traveller demands. With more than 50% (51.4) of those surveyed being of the opinion that the travel industry looks to be better off in the next year, compared to last, the industry needs to act now to ensure that they are providing the facilities that travellers really value during their stay.
Business Travel Market’s event director Paul Robin said: “‘Working with the official conference programme co-ordinator ACTE on the educational content for BTM was key in the run up to this year’s event - but we also wanted to provide industry insight into the market for our exhibitors. The survey results reveal that, to perform at the best of their ability, business travellers consume more but also want to relax more during their trips and still get a buzz out of travelling to different cultures. Although we have stated that businesses need to adapt their travel policies in 2011 to improve the performance of their execs, it’s also true that industry providers could learn a lot from speaking to travellers about what’s most important to them whilst away.”
ACTE’s regional director North East Europe & Europe Caroline Allen said: “We’re delighted to be BTM’s conference planner and to take the opportunity to research traveller priorities. As travel management policies and processes develop and change, it is essential to return to the business traveller and establish what is most important to them. This survey reveals that a good night’s sleep and access to the internet are amongst their primary concerns.”