Survey: Biz Travel Increasing With Sharing and First-Class Travel On the Rise
PHOTO: First class travel, like the suites on Cathay Pacific Airlines, is on the rise among business travelers. (via Wiki Images)
Travel Leaders Group released the results of its latest survey on business travel this week, revealing a rise in business travel bookings compared to last year and an increased willingness among road warriors to participate in the sharing economy.
"This has clearly been a solid year for business travel through the first eight months as over 80 percent of our corporate travel specialists are seeing their business travel bookings better than or equal to the same time last year," Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko said in a statement.
What's more, nearly half of the group's 390-plus participating corporate travel specialists (44.4 percent) indicated they have clients who use alternative suppliers for accommodations, while roughly two-thirds (66.2 percent) indicated some of their clients use alternative suppliers like Uber and Lyft for ground transportation.
"Already we are seeing a segment of our clientele opting for the flexibility that those services can provide," Travel Leaders Corporate president David Holyoke said in a statement. "It will be incumbent upon travel management companies to help their clients incorporate those services into their corporate travel policies for financial reasons and for duty of care."
The survey also found that more business travelers are flying first class in 2015, with 67.4 percent of polled corporate travel specialists indicating that more than 10 percent of their clients are flying in the front of the plane.
That figure represents a 0.6 percent increase over last year.
The top reasons cited for why clients fly coach were company policy (50.8 percent), cost (39.2 percent) and upgrade potential (3.6 percent).
Meanwhile, a majority of specialists (68.4 percent) said their business travel clients typically book luxury and upper upscale hotels, while 27.7 percent indicated that their road warriors book upscale or upper midscale accommodations.
When asked about business travel clients' car rental preferences, 41.8 percent said more than half of their clients request a car rental on top of their airline reservation, while 35.2 percent indicated that between 21-50 percent of their clients must have a rental car on top of their airline booking.
Midsize was singled out as the most popular rental car category, followed by full size.
Lastly, snowstorms, airline emergencies and rental car accidents were listed as being the top reasons for why specialists were required to execute Duty of Care procedures for your business travel clients.
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