Dealing with air travel delays or cancellations, long airport layovers, connecting flights and travel times outside of normal business hours including late at night and weekends rank among the top frustrations of European business travelers.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) recently surveyed 675 business travelers in Europe, uncovering their top concerns and stresses when traveling. The GBTA report, 2013 European Business Traveller Well-Being Study, also explored what keeps business travelers productive in their hotel and transportation accommodations, their biggest concerns regarding security and their overall attitudes about travel. It was sponsored by AirPlus International, a leading global provider of payment and reporting solutions for business travel.
“Understanding what factors influence a business traveller’s well-being can help corporate travel managers design travel policies that better support road warriors,” said GBTA vice president of research Joseph Bates. “Improving the traveller experience can also help alleviate stress, making trips more pleasant and productive.”
European Business Traveller Top Needs
Safety was the top concern for business travelers. Maintaining close connections with those back home and sticking to healthy diet and exercise regimes also ranked highly.
· 76 percent said it is important to feel their employers took their safety and security seriously.
· 75 percent reported being able to stay in touch with friends and family during travel is important to them.
· 65 percent felt maintaining a healthy diet while on the road was a key concern.
· 46 percent said sticking to their exercise routines when traveling for business is a priority.
European Business Traveller Stresses
While the majority of respondents said they enjoy business travel (85%), noting the opportunity to discover new places and cultural opportunities as some of the “best” elements, stress levels rose when:
· Dealing with air travel delays or cancellations (66%).
· Their trips are impacted by long airport layovers (49%).
· They have to take connecting flights (45%).
· Their travel times were outside of normal business hours including late at night (44%), during the weekend (42%) or early in the morning (40%).
The report also found that making environmentally conscious decisions is increasingly important among frequent travelers.
Over half of the study’s respondents said they usually try to recycle paper, plastic or glass (58%). Many also try to decrease their carbon footprint, booking hotels close to their meetings destinations so they can walk (52%) or taking public transportation when possible (45%).
“This study highlights the importance of creating a travel policy that takes into account not just the cost of travel, but travel’s impact on employees,” said Michiel Verhaagen, executive vice president sales EMEA AirPlus International. “Well-being is a very sensible subject for our industry. We have chosen this topic as we want to help both travel managers and business travelers to find the best solutions that are both cost effectives and ensure a traveller’s well-being. Some key findings are expected, some are quite surprising. Having done this research in 10 countries is a great experience.”
The online survey was conducted between June 19 and July 5, 2013 with 675 business travelers in Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden).