Business travel to pick up this year

Business travel to pick up this year

More than 90% of business travellers expect to travel the same or more for business this year, according to a new survey.

The survey of 2,400 frequent travellers is up almost 20% on last year’s figures – pointing to a pick up in the economy this year.

The poll was conducted by the Business Travel & Meetings Show, ahead of next month’s event at Earl’s Court.

The survey also found that online check-in has been voted the ‘innovation of the decade’ by business travellers.

This was followed closely by Wi-Fi, flat beds, notebooks and the Eurostar.

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“The ‘noughties’ have been a hotbed of innovation when it comes to business travel,” said David Chapple, BTMS event director.

“Innovations in technology, infrastructure and services have all contributed to make it easier, more comfortable and more enjoyable than ever for professionals to both travel and do business effectively.”

Respondents listed a series of demands for future innovations which had the common theme of speed.

Travellers called for faster security, check in and immigration processes.

This was followed by the invention of a child silencer, re-introduction of supersonic aircraft, carbon free travel and Wi-Fi on planes.

Despite longing for ‘sky-Fi’, – pioneered on BA’s all-business London City to JFK service – 82 per cent of business travellers still do not want mobile phones to be allowed on board.

They rate punctuality and cost ahead of legroom, on board catering and access to a lounge.

And more than half - 57 per cent - believe the first round of APD increases was unfair, and 87 per cent are strongly opposed to a second round of price rises, currently set for 1 November 2010.

British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Singapore and Lufthansa were voted the top five favourite airlines.

British Airways also secured top spot in the customer service category, followed by Singapore, Lufthansa, Emirates and Virgin.

Business travellers voted Lufthansa the world’s greenest airline followed by Singapore, KLM, Qantas and Virgin Atlantic

Intercontinental was voted top hotel group – ahead of Marriott, Four Seasons, Hilton and Radisson.

And the top reason for choosing hotels after location is cost, bedding, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and a good quality restaurant.