Technology Is Changing The Face Of Business Travel: GBTA

Open Jaw
Mobile technologies – including Wi-Fi, travel apps and digital wallets – are transforming the experience of business travellers around the globe.


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 device.


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 this measurement.

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