New Study Shows Business Travelers Increasingly Use Technology to Make Travel More Productive

Alexandria, VA - Business travelers increasingly use technology to make travel more productive but also to stay in touch with those back home, says a new research study released today that outlines different types of road warriors.  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 bringing laptops, wireless broadband, portable GPS, and smartphones also utilizing mobile travel apps, among other tools.

The Business Traveler Market Segmentation Study survey findings - sponsored by Concur, a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management solutions for companies of all sizes - were released today by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation (GBTA), the research arm of the Global Business Travel Association.

In general, looking at all road warriors:

  • 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.
  • Nearly half (46%) have to work under tight budgets, putting pressure on their travel plans.
  • 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%).

"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."

Types of Travelers

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. The study identifies five segments of travelers in the market today: The Veteran (33%), Road Weary (25%), Wide-eyed and Anxious (21%), Passionate High-Tech (14%) and New Recruits (7%) based on their travel goals, characteristics, technology usages and demographics.

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 of connectivity showing 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; Majority are older in age 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 Adapters 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 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; 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 are also teaming up to do an in-depth presentation on this research at the 2011 GBTA Convention in Denver on August 22, 2011 at 10:15-11:15 AM, elaborating on figures and findings and providing supplementary information about how to fulfill the eminent needs of each type of traveler. Attendees of the educational session will also be able to complete a personal survey to determine their corresponding traveler type category.

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: http://www.gbta.org/Lists/Resource%20Library/Forms/Foundation_Research_and_Surveys.aspx

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