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GBTA Offers New Insights Into Business Travelers

July 26, 2011 By: George Dooley Travel Agent

There are five types of travelers in the market today: the Veteran (33% of all travelers), Road Weary (25%), Wide-eyed and Anxious (21%), Passionate High-Tech (14%) and New Recruits (7%) according to a new report The Business Traveler Market Segmentation Study.

The new survey was sponsored by Concur, a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions and released by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation (GBTA), the research arm of the Global Business Travel Association.

The new research also reveals data points on all travelers. Technology continues to be a critical part of every trip and assists travelers with staying in touch with those back home, which almost half indicated was one of the most important goals while in transit.
In general, looking at all road warriors the study notes:

  • A majority of business travelers report there is no substitute for being there in person (78%), and enjoy traveling for work (78%).
  • Almost half of business travelers report that staying in touch on the road with family and friends (46%) and staying safe (46%) while traveling are the most important goals on trip.
  • The average trip lasts four days and costs $1,837 USD.
  • Business travelers tend to be college-educated (71%), 38 years old on average, and male (59%).

Business travelers increasingly use technology to make travel more productive but also to stay in touch with those back home, says the report.  Looking across all travelers, a strong majority (79%) noted they commonly bring technology on their trips to stay in touch with their family and friends.

At least two-thirds bring laptops, wireless broadband, portable GPS, and smartphones while also utilizing mobile travel apps, among other tools.
“The more we know about the business traveler of today in the myriad of developments across the industry, the better we can develop strategies to help them make the most of each trip. Companies wisely invest in travel and this research will help them better cater to the needs of varying traveler types.  They will be able to determine what they need to be experts on the road and also be stewards of travel for their companies, making every dollar invested and every meeting even more beneficial and productive,” said Joe Bates, director of research, GBTA Foundation.
“Business travelers are the engine that drives our industry, and millions of them rely on Concur to help them manage every aspect of their trip,” said Michael Hilton, executive vice president, worldwide marketing for Concur. “GBTA’s research clearly shows that business travelers look to technology providers to help them manage their travel and stay productive while on the road. Whether it’s combining travel and expense into one seamless process, providing a platform that brings all aspects of the travel eco-system together or integrating new technologies like TripIt into their business travel experience, Concur is continually innovating on behalf of these business travelers to help make their lives a little easier.”

Understanding the differing needs and habits of business travelers is crucial to identifying pain points and easing them through new technological developments and market approaches, GBTA says.
The Veteran – The Most Experienced
    •    At a glance: average of 12 trips taken per year with an average of four nights away from home per trip. 88% are 35 years of age or older.
    •    Typically older travelers who have no problem with managing travel, handling arrangements and keeping track of expenses.
    •    The most important goal identified by Veteran travelers is ensuring they are not hindered by a lack of equipment or connectivity. They show a high receptiveness to new technology for more productivity on the road.
    •    This group enjoys traveling, with almost all (94%) bringing laptops on the road to stay in touch with those back home.
Road Weary – Frequent and More Reluctant
    •    At a glance: average of 15 trips taken per year with an average of three nights away from home per trip. The majority are older with (74%) being older than 35 years of age.
    •    The most important goal to Road Weary travelers is feeling safe when on trip (42%) and staying in touch with family (41%).
    •    Road Weary travelers are most likely of all traveler groups to bring a portable GPS on trip.
Wide-eyed and Anxious – Less Frequent Travelers Who Experience Travel Challenges
    •    At a glance: average of 11 trips taken per year with an average of four nights away from home per trip. Typically younger travelers, (89%) are less than 55 years old.
    •    In general, Wide-eyed and Anxious travelers are younger travelers with less experience on the road. These travelers tend to enjoy travel but get nervous navigating new destinations and following policies.
Passionate High-Tech – Enthusiastic Travelers and Early Adopters of Tech
    •    At a glance: average of 13 trips taken per year with an average of four nights away from home per trip. Almost all are younger travelers with (91%) less than 54 years old.
    •    Passionate High-Tech travelers love to travel for work and look to technology to make them more productive and stay in the know with their friends and family.
    •    Likely to spend more per trip and fly to their destinations, Passionate High-Tech travelers embrace new technologies such as tablet devices (25%) while on the road.
The New Recruits – Less Experienced Travelers Who Want to Share their Adventures
    •    At a glance: average of 14 trips taken per year with an average of six nights away from home per trip. They are the youngest group with (98%) less than 54 years old.
    •    Generally this group of younger travelers is eager to explore new destinations while on business and are eager to travel more and share experiences, often using social media to meet up with friends and other colleagues on the road.
    •    Likely to do more international travel and work in the computer technology industry.
GBTA and Concur said they are  teaming up to do an in-depth presentation on this research at the 2011 GBTA Convention in Denver on August 22 elaborating on figures and findings and providing supplementary information about how to fulfill the eminent needs of each type of traveler.
The full report is available exclusively to GBTA members and offers detailed insight for travel managers interested in understanding types of business travelers in the market today. Non-members can purchase this study through the GBTA Foundation website.


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About the Author

George Dooley
George Dooley, Travel Agent’s senior contributing editor covering retail and technology, has a long-standing reputation as one of the top travel industry journalists. He notes...

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By George Dooley | July 26, 2011
Technology continues to be a critical part of every trip, according to a study by the Global Business Travel Association and Concur.