Last updated: 05:02 PM ET, Tue September 29 2015

GBTA Study Explores Business Travelers' Booking Behaviors

Business Travel | Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) | Patrick Clarke | September 29, 2015

GBTA Study Explores Business Travelers' Booking Behaviors

After setting their sights on a set of hotels that meets their needs, business travelers are more often than not looking to find the right price and the easiest booking process, according to a recent study from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

The study, "Booking Behaviors: Helping Business Travelers Book Smarter," examined the top factors today's road warriors consider when booking a hotel as well as how technology is impacting the travel booking process in general.

Notable findings include that more than half (54 percent) of business travelers booking hotels through alternative channels rather than corporate online booking tools said they use a direct channel, compared to 42 percent who utilize a third-party website.

What's more, the study found that 42 percent of those who used an alternative channel indicated that they are not required to reveal their travel information to their company, which could potentially lead to problems down the road.

"In identifying the booking habits of business travelers, the study revealed several ways companies can improve their travel policies," GBTA Foundation vice president of research Joseph Bates said in a statement. "By meeting traveler expectations with corporate booking tools, travel buyers can encourage travelers to stay within the system and not seek out alternative methods. Travel buyers also have an opportunity to influence what travel apps are downloaded and used bringing consistency to the use of travel apps within their travel programs."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study also revealed that millennials (aged 18 to 34) are much quicker to embrace technology when it comes to booking travel. Both millennial and gen-X (aged 35 to 54) business travelers are more likely to download airline, hotel and other travel apps on their smart phone than compared to their baby boomer (aged 55 and up) counterparts.

However the research found that younger business travelers are less likely to book their own trip compared to older business travelers. The GBTA suggests a general lack of experience plays a role. 

Overall, 39 percent of surveyed business travelers said they have used a smart phone to book a hotel room for a business trip within the past six months. Still, laptops and desktop computers remain a more popular method for locking in a stay with 58 percent and 43 percent of respondents reporting having used the devices to book a room in the past six months, respectively. 

The GBTA Foundation survey comprised the responses of more than 500 North American business travelers, defined as an employed individual who traveled at least for business in the past year. 


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