GBTA Study Indicates Biz Travellers Love Their Hotel Apps

Open Jaw

Business travellers commonly use hotel apps according to a new study released today by the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

61% of business travellers have downloaded at least 1 of the 7 major hotel chains’ apps on their smartphones in the past year, with 54% having at least 2 and 25% downloading at least 3.

Business travellers say they most often use hotel apps to check the status of a reservation (43%), manage their rewards points or account (43%) and book a hotel stay (39%).

When breaking it down by age group, Baby Boomers (55+) are most likely to check the status of a reservation while Millennials (18-34) are most likely to use apps to find more info about available amenities, order room service and contact hotel employees, even though not all hotel apps offer these features.

In a general finding, the GBTA Foundation says business travellers routinely use hotel apps and are largely satisfied with their use.

25% of business travellers indicate using mobile-check in on their last business stay at a hotel with Millennials and Gen X-ers (35-54) doing so at a much higher rate than Baby Boomers. If keyless entry expands, travellers will likely use mobile check-in more frequently.

“Hotels have room to expand the capabilities of their mobile app as well as promote increased awareness of those capabilities as the interest is there,” said Monica Sanchez, GBTA Foundation Director of Research. “In the future, hotels could invest in innovative new technologies, but should also continue to focus on improving existing amenities, especially Wi-Fi as that remains most important for business travellers.”

Biz travellers are also interested in using a variety of technology amenities that most hotels do not currently offer. The most commonly indicated amenities are more regular outlets and USB outlets (34%), offering streaming services (34%) and in-room chargers for laptops and/or phones (32%). 

Internet access still reigns supreme for business travellers when it comes to hotel technology. More than half (55%) spend at least 1 hr. per day using in-room internet access for business purposes with a similar share (48%) also using it for at least one hour per day for leisure purposes. Satisfaction with in-room internet access is generally high with 75% or higher satisfaction rates for spend and connectivity, but slightly lower levels (62%) for security.

Additionally, 73% of business travellers used Wi-Fi or high speed internet in a hotel common area in the past year.

61% used free in-room Wi-Fi or high speed internet available to all guests, while 16% received free in-room internet access because they booked direct, were a member of the hotel’s rewards program or had special/VIP status. In the future, a majority of respondents say they are “more likely” or “much more likely” to book directly in exchange for free Wi-Fi or high speed internet, however, the reality is most can obtain free basic Wi-Fi by simply being part of a loyalty program regardless of booking channel.

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