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New study reveals substantial differences between managed and unmanaged travelers

Business travelers are generally successful and enjoy hitting the road

Globally, business travelers feel their needs are being met – but there is room to improve – especially when it comes to serving the needs of travelers in managed programs. This is the finding of Global Business Travel Association Foundation’s Global Business Traveler Study 2012 – sponsored by Concur, a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management services…

Globally, business travelers feel their needs are being met – but there is room to improve – especially when it comes to serving the needs of travelers in managed programs. This is the finding of Global Business Travel Association Foundation‘s Global Business Traveler Study 2012 – sponsored by Concur, a leading provider of integrated travel and expense management services.

The study finds that travelers under a mandated program are working hard to stay in budget and be compliant, but it is at the price of their personal life and comfort.  However, more needs to be done to help them plan and have travel choices available that do not overburden travelers, as well as have help available to re-juggle their itinerary in-transit if needed to avoid hassles.

Travelers “under guidelines” are successful with staying in budget and being compliant, and given a little less structure in their program, are more comfortable during their trips.  However, they are exhausted from the travel and the in-transit hassles, and it has an impact on their personal schedules.

Global Findings:

  •     Travelers participating in a mandated program are significantly less successful with their business travel than those that are less managed or not managed at all.
  •     On average 67% of business travelers are visiting new destinations although mainly traveling domestically to do so.
  •     The majority of business trips, 33% on average, are used for meeting with colleagues, 18% for sales, 21% for training and or industry conferences and 9% for other uses.
  •     Business travelers around the world tend to be college educated, 42 years old on average and two-thirds are male.

Mandates vs. Guidelines

The Global Business Traveler Study 2012 – sponsored by Concur reveals the substantial differences between travelers who operate under managed programs and those who do not. In the U.S. 21% of travelers are under “mandated” travel programs where they must follow the company’s stated travel policies and/or use the providers or agencies chosen by their company. A third of U.S. business travelers are “unmanaged,” having no stated company guidelines. Nearly half (47%) fall in between or “under guidelines” where they may have to follow policies but are only encouraged to use preferred providers, or must use preferred providers but are only encouraged to follow policy.

Looking at all road warriors in the U.S., the study found that they’re clearly working hard and enjoying their trips, but more needs to be done to help them plan and reduce stress while in-transit like making sure they’re comfortable when on the road and ensuring they have the technology to do their jobs. U.S. business travelers work in a range of industries and tend to be managers, directors or senior managers.  Overall, 74% of U.S business travelers stated they were highly satisfied with nearly all aspects of business travel and 81% stating they were able to successful reach mission critical business goals with nearly half reporting they’d like to travel more if possible. However, only 62% of travelers said they were satisfied with the ability to minimize personal hardships.

Calculating the Business Travel Success Index

To better assess business travelers, this study is introducing the GBTA Business Travel Success Index (GBTA BTSI) sponsored by Concur,  an overall measure of the travelers’ perceptions of how well they are able to reach their goals when traveling for work. The index is on a scale of 0-100, where 100 is completely successful in meeting all of their goals.

The study finds that travelers participating in a mandated program – with a BTSI of 72.7 – are significantly less successful with their business travel than those who are under guidelines (BTSI of 76) or unmanaged programs (BTSI of 78.6). Below are the overall BTSI measurements of the travelers recently surveyed for this research in the following countries:

Country               BTSI
United States        76.2
India                     75.3
Australia               74.5
Canada                 74.4

“The most important – and for far too long, the most under represented – component within the corporate travel industry is the business traveler,” said Rajeev Singh, president and COO of Concur. “The research by GBTA shows that business travelers are eager to get on the road and make deals happen, but there is still a great need for companies to provide the technology, support and education to help make those business travelers more comfortable and productive so they can stay focused on business-critical goals. Concur is always innovating with the needs of travelers in mind, developing our T&E Cloud to enable all aspects of the travel eco-system to work on behalf of making the business traveler’s life easier and more productive.”

The Global Business Travel Association Foundation is the research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). The survey of 1788 business travelers in the U.S., Canada, Australia and India examined the differences between managed and unmanaged travel programs from the perspective of business travelers. Additionally, the study sought to determine who the business traveler is in each of the four countries surveyed. U.S. and Indian business travelers are the most satisfied with their business travel, while Australian travelers are the least satisfied.

“Understanding the individual needs of the business traveler will help companies develop tactics that keep travelers productive and motivated.  Investing in this research will provide companies with the insights they need to support their road warriors so they can get the most out of each trip,” said Michael W. McCormick, GBTA executive director and COO. “It is our hope that this study will be used to inform the industry and guide marketing strategies and new product development to meet the needs of road warriors.”

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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