32 Percent of Travel Leaders Agents Forecast Business Travel to Grow in 2017

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Travel Leaders Group has released the results of its 2017 Business Travel Trends Survey, which the organization says shows signs of steady growth ahead for business travel in the coming year. 

According to the survey, 86 percent of Travel Leaders Group’s business travel-focused agents are reporting that they expect bookings to remain as high or higher than the same time last year. The participating travel agents also noted that while business travelers’ top concerns are travel logistics, ranging from delayed or canceled flights to limited air seating, they have the expertise in mitigating them, Travel Leaders said.

Conducted from November 17 to December 9, 2016, the Business Travel Trends survey collected responses from 541 Travel Leaders Group travel agent experts throughout the United States whose portfolio consists of 50 percent or more business travel clients. 

Anticipated Business Travel in 2017

When Travel Leaders Group’s business travel agents were asked “Comparing your overall 2017 business travel bookings so far to your 2016 business travel bookings at this time last year, which is true?” they said:

  2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
Booking levels will increase 32.0% 36.6% 45.5% 38.4% 38.7% 34.5%
Booking levels will remain on par 54.0% 40.2% 34.0% 39.4% 40.8% 42.2%
Booking levels will decline 14.0% 6.6% 4.9% 5.7% 9.8% 4.7%

Top Business Travel Concerns

When asked, “What are the top 3 concerns for your business travelers?” agents said:

  2017 2016 2015 2014
Delayed flights 73.2% 78.7% 68.5% 70.1%
Limited airline seat availability 43.8% 38.3% 42.0% 46.7%
Earning frequent flyer/loyalty points 41.0% 37.6% 32.9% 37.5%
Ease of passing through security 31.4% 33.8% 33.1% 28.3%

When asked, “Which concerns are you most able to address or mitigate for your business travelers?” the business travel agents were able to name up to three concerns. The top five are:

  2017
Delayed flights 48.6%
Making sure someone has their back 39.2%
Earning frequent flyer/loyalty points 32.3%
Limited airline seat availability 28.7%
Travel costs 25.1%

Ancillary Fees for Business Travelers

This year, travel professionals were asked “Which ancillary fees do you most consistently assist your clients in avoiding?” The top five were:

  • Hotel fees for cancellations (53.2%)
  • Airline fees for changing flights (41.4%)
  • Airline fees for seat assignment (39.9%)
  • Airline fees for baggage (21.8%)
  • Hotel fees for early check-in/late check-in (16.6%)

Visit www.travelleadersgroup.com