Best Western Sees Boost in Business Trips, Business Travel Budgets
By Claudette Covey
October 09, 2012 11:09 PM
Best Western International reported results from a new survey that business travelers will take more trips and spend more on travel expenses. The survey, conducted for Best Western by Wakefield Research, found that nearly two in five (39 percent) of business travelers surveyed indicate their budgets have increased this year compared to 2011, with only one in 10 saying their business travel budget has been cut this year.
With increased budgets, travelers are changing the ways in which they approach business travel. Despite the guilt some feel when being away from family and friends, more than three in four people surveyed (77 percent) indicated that they have a positive attitude about business trips. “The combination of strong corporate travel, along with an emerging number of small business road warriors, has helped push advanced booking numbers for Sunday through Thursday travel at Best Western hotels significantly higher this fall compared to last,” said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Best Western International. “Business travelers have learned lessons from the past, and are more value conscious than ever.”
Best Western discovered that business travelers this year are more empowered to make their own travel decisions and often use tools more commonly thought of when planning for vacation travel. Nearly seven in 10 road warriors research and book their own travel, rather than use a corporate travel department or travel agent, and 82 percent of business travelers who book their own business travel often use third-party review Web sites such as TripAdvisor prior to booking their hotel stays.
The Best Western business travel survey also found that: 43 percent of business travelers expect to travel more for business this fall than last; many business travelers will be fresh faces this year. Fifty-one percent of business travelers aged 21 to 44 expect to travel more this fall than last year, compared to only 28 percent of those aged 45 and older; the top reason why business travelers sign up for travel loyalty programs is to get free hotel stays (48 percent) followed by airline tickets or upgraded seats (45 percent), hotel upgrades (40 percent) and discounts on travel staples like food and gas (32 percent); road warriors aren’t just concerned about making their own lives easier when it comes to travel loyalty programs, as more than one in 10 (12 percent) have signed up to donate some of their future points to charity.