SINGAPORE, 12 October, 2017: Time spent in transit is the most challenging aspect of business travel in Asia-Pacific, says a new report released today by the GBTA Foundation – the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association.
Before anyone says so what, or “tell us something new”, the Asia-Pacific study identifies other serious gripes dished out by airlines and hotels.
They included complaints that focused on hassles related to the away-from-home work environment, layovers and the task of rebooking flights and hotels.
The study, “Creating a Frictionless Travel Experience – Asia Pacific”, conducted in partnership with Sabre Corporation confirms what we already probably knew, business travel is neither seamless, nor hassle-free.
The study also attempts to identify what the travel, airline and hospitality sectors could do to improve the lot of the harried business traveller.
The top pain points all have one thing in common – they waste our time. Business travellers need to be as productive as possible, while on the road. That is a core demand.
“It is no secret that business travel drives business growth and face-to-face interactions help get business done,” said GBTA executive director and COO Michael W McCormick. “Ultimately those who travel want to save time when possible, be productive and have a pleasant experience while accomplishing their business goals.”
Advances in technology should help corporate travellers stay plugged in and connected more than ever before, according to the GBTA COO.
“While the technology is out there, this report demonstrates that we still have work do to make corporate travel more seamless, reducing the number of apps and tools needed to organise their trip, while also optimising compliance and reducing costs,” said Sabre Travel Network executive vice president and president Wade Jones.
Job seekers will often look at a company’s travel policy before accepting an employment offer. They see it as a perk and a possibly factor when choosing a new job or posting. A decent proportion of business travellers say the company’s travel policy is an important factor when considering a potential new employer.
However, this share varies widely by regions ranging from 31% in Japan to 86% in India. Additionally, the vast majority of travellers say the quality of their business travel experience impacts their business results at least somewhat.
When asked what perks or amenities impact their business travel experience the most, convenient and comfortable hotels most often topped the list for business travellers, although it did vary slightly by region.
Looking at optional purchases business travellers make on their own to improve their experience is also telling.
These include hotel high-speed internet, airport lounge, black car service, airplane/train Wi-Fi and seat upgrades. Travellers most often mention that these purchases help them improve their productivity on the road.
Technology also makes an important contribution to business traveller satisfaction, enabling a more efficient travel process.
Business travellers indicated a variety of technological amenities would enhance their travel experience with automated destination info, mobile payment, itinerary management apps, live chat capabilities for travel policy inquiries and safety apps topping the list in most regions.
Despite Japan’s reputation for technological innovation, its business travellers are less likely to say that various technological amenities would enhance their travel experience.
The GBTA Foundation also surveyed business travellers in Europe, North America and Latin America. While there are many similarities among business travellers around the world, there are also several key differences.