Technology Is Changing The Face Of Business Travel: GBTA
Mobile technologies – including Wi-Fi, travel apps and
digital wallets – are transforming the experience of business travellers around
That’s a key finding from the first-ever GBTA Global
Business Traveller Sentiment Index, based on research from the GBTA Foundation
in partnership with American Express. Over 3,500 business travellers from eight
countries took part in the study.
“A massive technological transformation is changing the
face of business travel,” says Joseph Bates, Vice President, GBTA Foundation.
“At the heart of this radical disruption is Wi-Fi, which
has become the indispensable technology for travellers. Wi-Fi and mobile
technologies allow travellers to stay connected whether in their hotel rooms,
at the airport, or at 30,000 feet. This transformation will only accelerate,
and business travelers will demand always-on connectivity and mobile
applications that allow them to stay in touch 24/7.”
Major differences in Business Traveller Sentiment emerged
on a country-by-country basis. Business travellers from Mexico, for instance,
score higher than average across every Index component.
Meanwhile, travellers in the United States, Australia and
the UK all score just above average on overall business travel sentiment, while
those from Germany, Brazil and Canada score just below average. Japanese
business travellers are the least satisfied across all Index components, except
social media experience.
Here are four key findings from the study. Technology has changed the face of business travel
The vast majority of travellers believe access to
technology allows them to keep up with their other work demands. In addition
about six out of 10 travellers in each of the surveyed countries agree they
have all the necessary resources to be productive while on the road.
Submitting paper receipts remains the predominant method
of validating expenses, but travellers appreciate the ability to use multiple
mechanisms to submitting receipts— paper receipts, taking images of receipts
using a photocopier or scanner, and taking photos of receipts using a mobile
Increasingly, travellers are open to new technologies –
such as digital wallets – that allow them to keep track of payments and
expenses via their mobile devices.
Interest in using sharing-economy transportation services
is relatively low among all travellers – only 20% of business travellers
express interest in using these services more. However, younger travellers in
all countries are more likely to increase use of these services.
Despite overall satisfaction with travel, a number pain
points have emerged
“While most travellers are significantly satisfied with
their trip experience, a few areas have emerged as significant pain points,”
said Bates. “This includes airline fees, getting through security, ensuring
convenient flight schedules, rewards points that don’t expire and having
adequate Wi-Fi connectivity.”
Travellers are pessimistic about the state of their
country’s economy – especially Canadians
When asked about the health of the economy – with the
exception of Mexico (67%) – a minority of business travellers in other
countries believe the overall health of their economy is excellent (35% or less
“agree” or “strongly agree”). In particular, travellers from Brazil (23%) and
Canada (22%) are the most pessimistic.
Business travellers feel safe on their journeys
Among the encouraging safety findings, travellers from
Australia and Mexico are the most likely to feel business travel overall is
very safe, followed by Canada, the UK and the U.S. All countries topped 60% in