CWT finds technology and relationships are key to business travel success

31 August, 2017

Carlson Wagonlit Travel recently released its CWT Connected Traveller Study, highlighting the top technology used by business travellers, the top benefits of business travel, how travel impacts staying connected and who travellers connect with.

The study found business travellers are bringing more devices, and feel more productive as they are on the road conducting business. The survey of more than 1,900 business travellers found that travellers on average carry four different types of technology (mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.), with the smartphone being the one “travel tool they can’t live without,” as more than 80% of travellers across the globe rely on their phone to conduct business.

Source: CWT Connected Traveller survey of 1,9000 business travellers across 16 countries

Global findings

With technology, most travellers (88%) believe travel is easier to navigate today. This has led a significant majority of travellers (78%) to seek opportunities to travel for work and nearly as many find business travel to be stimulating (72%). Today’s travellers are experienced and use that knowledge to plan their trips. More than half (55%) of travellers rely on prior travel experience while planning trips, in addition to hotel websites (54%) and airline websites (50%). Airline and hotel apps make up the bulk of app usage for travellers (45%) while map apps also see heavy use (41%).

Carlson Wagonlit Travel chief marketing officer Simon Nowroz said: “The business traveller can be so much more productive than even five years ago thanks to technology. Think about the advances where a business traveller used to have so much down time between a flight, taxi and hotel. Now, they can login and work while on the plane or wherever they happen to be. With the continued emergence of the tablet, as well as numerous apps, travellers don’t feel out of touch as they carry out business.”

According to the study, work-based relationships and productivity are strengthened through business travel. Nearly 9 in 10 business travellers (86%) said travel helped them build new knowledge and perspective, while 80% said business travel boosted their productivity. Additionally, more than 9 in 10 (93%) said that travel positives outweighed negatives when it comes to building and maintaining relationships at work, while nearly 8 in 10 (77%) say the same about their home lives.

Connecting with co-workers and family

According to the study, as travellers connect with co-workers or family, they often use different methods. With family or friends, travellers chose calling (44%), Skype (24%) and text (17%) as their preferred communication methods. However, they connect with co-workers differently: email (44%), calling (24%) and texting (14%).

Regional differences

There were similarities across the Americas, EMEA and APAC. However, APAC travellers felt more in control (84%) in being able to manage their responsibilities compared to Americas (76%) and EMEA (73%) travellers. Travellers from APAC (53%) were also more likely to say that travel took time away from other work, causing their co-workers to pick up some of the slack.

When it comes to personal relationships, around a quarter of travellers from the Americas felt that travel strained their relationship with their spouse or significant other (27%), more than their EMEA and APAC counterparts (22%). This is likely the reason that travellers in the Americas tried significantly harder to stay connected with family (50%) than APAC (31%) and EMEA (27%) travellers. APAC travellers were more likely to miss important events – with more than half (51%) missing at least two social events or occasions within the past 12 months compared to EMEA (44%) or Americas (42%) travellers.

“There are many variables that can make a business trip a success or a failure in the eyes of the traveller,” said Nowroz. “The easier we can make it for travellers to be organised, the more we help them have a better overall experience.”