The changing needs of the business traveller

18 July, 2017

It's not all priority boarding and airport lounge access driving business travellers anymore, says Egencia's Business Travel and Technology Survey. In its 4th edition, the survey shows the increasing desire by business travellers for technology access, cross-device integration, and greater productivity offerings on the road rather than traditional airline offerings.

Incentives, while important, are not what the business traveller is looking for anymore, rather travellers want technology which makes their corporate travel journey more productive and manageable.

The survey clearly highlighted Accessibility as a major theme with two-thirds (66 percent) of business travellers across the world wanting to manage and book their business travel on every mobile device, not just on their smartphone.

"We are at a turning point in business travel where standalone products are just not enough. Expectations of global business travellers are higher than ever before: they want instant access to information and management tools on every device, while operating autonomously," said Rob Greyber, president of Egencia.

"At Egencia, we also realise that satisfaction and productivity are not mutually exclusive for travel managers and business travellers, which is what drives us to continuously deliver integrated cross-device experiences to our customers around the world."

According to the survey, business travellers are optimistic when it comes to technology's role in improving their business travel experience. As an example, in the UK:

  • 50 percent would like to use text to update their travel arrangements;
  • 41 percent believe advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) will help improve their travel experiences.

Egencia MD for Australia/NZ Matt Christie, provided some insight into the results received for our market, stating: "When it comes to customer service, half of the Australian business travellers polled in our survey don't want to talk to anyone unless it's absolutely necessary, while the other half enjoys being able to pick up the phone and reach a live person. At Egencia, we realise it's important to not only provide expert, 24/7 local customer service, but to also build solutions travellers can access on their mobile devices to resolve their issues."

While many business travellers globally today (70 percent) find business trips more enjoyable than everyday work life, according to the Egencia white paper, "Control: Find out what it means to your travellers," there are still incremental changes that can be made to increase overall satisfaction on the road - and it starts with productivity enhancements.

Blurring the lines between business and pleasure, non-stop flights and in-flight WiFi ranked high among business travellers as perks that would increase both their productivity and satisfaction. Rounding out the top four amenities business travellers cited to improve productivity and satisfaction are extra time off to compensate for travelling on weekends and/or personal time and class upgrades on flights longer than six hours.

70% of global business travellers...enjoy travelling for business and the majority think in-person meetings are more productive. But, in order for travellers to be truly satisfied, there are points along their journey - from booking to expense - that could still use some improvement.

The study was conducted among 4521 business travellers aged 18 and older in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. Surveys were completed online in April and May 2017.

To learn more about the 4th edition Egencia Business Travel and Technology Survey, check out the infographic here.