Increasing Business Traveler satisfaction and productivity while on the road

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There’s not a lot about traveling for work that Canadian business travelers don’t like.

Three-quarters of Canadian business travelers were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their overall experience on work trips during the previous three months compared to 71% for all global business travelers, according to the GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index Global Report conducted in partnership with American Express (“the Index”).

A substantial majority also were satisfied with meeting their business goals (78%), hotels (78%), making travel arrangements (73%) and renting a car (67%), according to the Index. Fewer were satisfied with getting through security at the airport (49%).

Canadian business travelers also feel better served than most other global business travelers by their companies’ travel policies. Canadian travelers were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their choices for booking hotels (66%), understanding their company’s travel policy (62%), and renting a car (60%), according to the Index.

Using Tech to Stay Productive, to a Degree

Canadian business travelers agree more than most that technology helps them stay productive when they’re on work trips, but are generally more comfortable with tried-and-true services than emerging offerings.

Seventy-nine percent “agree” or “strongly agree” that access to technology helps them keep up with work demands while they’re on the road, compared to 74% for all global business travelers. A large majority (85%) say access to Wi-Fi is “important” or “very important” wherever they are. At the same time, they aren’t as quick to try newer travel apps and sharing-economy services as some. Only 6% said they “definitely will” use an app-based, private car service such as Uber in the next 12 months, compared with 24% for all global business travelers. Likewise, only 13% said they would use a mobile-based cashless wallet in the next year, compared with 22% of all global business travelers.

Millennials Lead the Way

By contrast, Millennials are more willing than average to give newer travel services a try. Canadian business travelers ages 18 to 34 “agree” or “strongly agree” that when they travel for work social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and internal company networks improve their ability to meet up with friends (59%), find reviews of travel suppliers (46%) and connect with colleagues and business associates (40%).

Millennials also rely on mobile devices more than average, with 73% saying it’s important to be able to use a mobile device to access their itinerary from the road compared with 62% of all Canadian business travelers, and 64% of all global travelers.

Other findings:

Canadian business travelers are confident about their companies. Business travelers are more confident about the financial health of their companies and industries than the economy as a whole. Fifty-seven percent agree that their companies are in excellent financial shape, on par with the global average. Half agree their industry’s health is solid, compared with 49% worldwide. However, 68% are neutral on the health of the global economy, compared with 55% for global business travelers overall.

Business travelers feel safe. Two-thirds (66%) of Canadian business travelers feel business travel generally is safe, and 64% agree that their company cares about their safety and well-being when they travel, compared with 59% and 62% respectively for business travelers worldwide.

They value efficiencies and perks. Wi-Fi isn’t the only thing Canadian business travelers want to help them stay productive and feel accommodated. Other services and perks they rank as important are: staying at a hotel close to where they need to be for a trip (82%), getting reimbursed in a timely manner (82%), acquiring and using travel rewards and perks at their own discretion (78%), and being able to extend or change a trip for personal reasons (73%).

An executive summary of the GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index Global Report is available here for download.

The GBTA Business Traveler Sentiment Index Global Study July 2015, conducted in partnership with American Express, was conducted among a sample of 441 frequent business travelers whose primary residence is located in Canada, who are employed part or full-time, and who have taken four or more business trips in the prior 12 months, from the time that the survey was taken. The survey was carried out by the GBTA Foundation between March 17 and April 6, 2015.