Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Thu September 15 2016

What Can Travel Leaders Group Teach Us About Business Travel?

Business Travel | Gabe Zaldivar | September 15, 2016

What Can Travel Leaders Group Teach Us About Business Travel?

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

Help is on the way when you absolutely need it.

That seems to be at the heart of a recent study from Travel Leaders Group, which examined some of the travel habits of its business clientele.

TLG took a close look at corporate travelers and found booking trends and offered a spotlight on those moments that travel agents had to go the extra mile for that worried traveler dealing with a canceled flight or far worse.

The study asked 1,145 travel agent various questions, including whether they have had to endure an experience when duty of care was needed.

Duty of care, in this case, is an event that might call for the agent to go beyond to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the respective traveler.

According to TLG, a little over 11 percent of the agents surveyed said that they had indeed dealt with such a scenario.

And the reasons range from the obvious to the shocking. The top five are listed as such, in order: Airline emergency, civil unrest in an international country, snowstorm, terrorist incident and a looming hurricane.

It should be noted that civil unrest in a nation outside the United States and running into a snowstorm were both as likely responses from the agents.

Travel Leaders Group CEO Ninan Chacko, CTC, offered some thoughts on the study: “While we always hope for no situations that require our corporate travel agents to deploy ‘Duty of Care’ assistance on behalf of their travelers, that’s simply not realistic. What’s most important is the safety and well-being of our clients. We are partners, working together to minimize any potential issues and handle anything that may inhibit business travelers from safely meeting their goals and objectives.”

The travel agents in these dire cases were that human touch on the other side that relayed a bit of calm in an otherwise stressful circumstance. On their end, they were undoubtedly working diligently to rectify the situation in an expedient manner.

The study, which you can view at the link above, has more interesting takeaways in regards to the budding sharing economy.

Agents were asked about what percentage of their clients were utilizing “alternative” means to book their accommodations.

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In this regard things remain relatively static from the same question offered just a year prior. About 55 percent saw absolutely no clients use an alternative supplier. However, things change among those who answered that at least some of their clients were using other options.

Those noting more than 10 percent of their clients using such means accounted for a drop while those with just a few clients saw a rise from 29.6 percent in 2015 to 34.1 percent this fall.

As for ground transportation, it seems more clients are onto the Ubers and Lyfts of the world. Respondents who state that more than 10 percent of their clients were using an “alternative supplier” for ground transportation accounted for 54.6 percent of the responses, which is up from the year before, which was 32.4 percent.

There is some good news when considering business travel bookings. The study notes that about 75 percent of respondents state that these types of, “bookings were equal to or higher than this time last year.”

Business travel continues to drive the industry – although the manner that the corporate traveler gets to their respective destination manages to evolve.


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