Business travelers

GBTA Research: Execs Say Economy Is Strong

Business traveler sentiment remains strong, according to the latest GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index from RoomIt by CWT and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). According to the report, global business traveler sentiment concerning trip experiences improved modestly over last quarter, growing by 0.4 points. This growth is highest among U.S. travelers, at 5.7 points since last quarter. Additionally, 68 percent of global travelers reported that they would travel more if given the option. 

Overall, business travelers remain optimistic despite economic headwinds in some parts of the world, according to the study. Senior-level business travelers agree that the health of the economy is excellent, including senior and executive management (74 percent) and directors (77 percent). 

The report also spotlighted hotel technology, finding that global business travelers widely use in-room hotel Internet: 80 percent said that they spend an average of at least one hour per day using in-room Internet to do work, while 51 percent spend at least two hours per day using it to work. Two in five business travelers (41 percent) access the Internet using their own hotspot or a hotspot provided by their companies, especially travelers from the Asia-Pacific region. 

Business travelers are also interested in a variety of technology innovations:

  • In-room chargers for laptops and/or phones – 39 percent
  • Streaming services on guest televisions – 38 percent
  • “Smart” TVs with Internet access – 38 percent
  • Online or mobile check-in / check-out – 37 percent
  • Online or mobile service requests – 32 percent
  • Security features, such as card swipe in the elevator – 31 percent
  • Keyless / mobile room entry – 31 percent
  • Self-check-in / check-out kiosks – 30 percent
  • Wireless charging – 29 percent
  • Mobile room selection – 27 percent
  • “Smart assistant (e.g. Amazon Echo) – 25 percent
  • Smart phone docking stations – 24 percent
  • Laptops or tablets for rent or check-out – 23 percent
  • Mobile “chat” with a hotel employee or concierge – 20 percent

The study also polled business travelers on their interest in future innovations: 

  • Using mobile app to control room (i.e. temperature, lighting, window blinds) – 50 percent
  • Body sensors that can detect when a room is occupied to control energy use / plan housekeeping visits – 38 percent
  • Personalized rooms (scents, colors, art) – 34 percent
  • Robotic service (e.g., room service or bell-hops) – 25 percent
  • Self-cleaning rooms – 24 percent
  • Shower doors that I can take notes on – 16 percent

“With advances in travel-specific technology, travelers are more productive and willing to travel even more than they currently do,” said Scott Solombrino, GBTA COO and executive director, in a written statement. “This bodes well for our industry and the global economy.”

Photo by Pexels/Negative Space

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