Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Thu August 06 2015

GBTA Report Highlights Global Business Travel Trends

Features & Advice | Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) | Ryan Rudnansky | August 06, 2015

GBTA Report Highlights Global Business Travel Trends

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

The GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), released a report on Thursday that sheds light on business travel trends in major destinations around the world.

The first-ever Global Business Traveler Sentiment Index, produced in partnership with American Express, surveyed more than 3,800 frequent business travelers living in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, Mexico and/or the United Kingdom.

Predictably, technology is a central focus for business travelers these days, according to the report. In seven of the eight destinations included in the survey, 70 percent or more of business travelers agreed or strongly agreed “having access to Wi-Fi is vital to my work productivity while traveling,” with Japan being the lone exception. In six of the eight destinations, more than half of business travelers agreed or strongly agreed their overall business travel experience was enhanced by mobile apps provided by travel suppliers, event organizers and tourism bureaus (with the exception of Japan and Germany).

Millennials are indeed part of the technological movement. More than half of global millennials are “interested” or “very interested” in using mobile devices and other technology to find nearby hotspots (via GPS), keep track of expenses, organize expenses, keep track of rewards points, use rewards points for business travel transactions, coordinate business-related meals and travel, and record receipts. 

On the other hand, many business travelers apparently don’t see a lot of value in social networking sites in certain instances, with the exception of business travelers from Brazil and Mexico. Less than 50 percent of business travelers in the U.S., Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan and the U.K. agreed or strongly agreed that social networking sites improve their ability to find reviews about suppliers, or meet up with friends or colleagues while traveling.

The report also delved into business traveler satisfaction across a variety of travel-related items.

In all, it looks like global travelers are generally satisfied when traveling for work. Across seven of the eight destinations featured in the report, 64 percent or more of business travelers were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” when it came to meeting all business goals for the trip, making travel arrangements, their hotel experience and their overall business travel experiences in the three months prior to being surveyed.

However, there are some unhappy business travelers. Japan, once again, was the exception, with only 47 percent of business travelers from Japan saying they were satisfied with their overall business travel experiences. The report noted that “lower satisfaction levels could be the result of cultural differences.”

Getting through airport security also tends to be an unsatisfactory experience for many business travelers around the world. Of course, more than half of global business travelers (55 percent) agreed or strongly agreed that they always feel safe when traveling, so you kind of have to pick your battles, so to speak.

The happiest business travelers overall?

That appears to be business travelers from Mexico. More than four in five Mexican business travelers (81 percent) said they are satisfied or very satisfied about their business travel experiences overall.

U.S. and Canadian business travelers appear to be among the world’s happiest when it comes to their business travel experiences overall (75 percent satisfied or very satisfied).

For the full Global Business Traveler Sentiment Index, click here.



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