Every year, Embassy Suites surveys hundreds of business travelers to see what their feelings are and what is most important to them during their trips. Some of the results, specifically around social media, were not surprising to me at all. However, the final paragraph baffles me. Read on for the results and my commentary.
- Nearly 80% of survey respondents report that the economic climate changed the way they traveled for business over the past five years. including an increase in teleconferencing (33%), more pressure to book accommodations that offer great value (29%) and only flying coach (25%). Many reported stricter travel rules, with approximately one-third of respondents reporting that their company’s business travel policies became more austere over the past five years.
I can totally relate to everything in this section. My company has definitely tightened the screws with regards to travel! At this time, every trip is scrutinized and alerts are sent to managers if any red flags are raised.
- Nearly 50% of survey respondents said a great value is most important when booking a hotel for business travel in 2013. Almost half (47%) of respondents said their biggest business travel “pet peeve” over the past five years is new fees for previously free items or amenities.
“Value” isn’t the only thing that is considered under my company’s travel guidelines, but I definitely don’t stay in the most expensive hotels anymore. Any fees (such as wi-fi) are covered, so those don’t really annoy me, but I can see how that would be really aggravating for others.
- An overwhelming 85 percent of survey respondents said they would follow a travel brand on social media in order to learn about travel deals (61%) learn about other travelers’ experiences with that brand (29%) or stay updated on the brand’s latest news (28%). And 2/3 of younger travelers (21-29) are more likely to deal with a customer service issue through social media (although half of the respondents said they would call a customer service line).
I’m not surprised by this at all. Social media is taking over everything, especially for younger generations. At 32, I have both called in and used social media to deal with a service issue.
- 85% of survey respondents said they find business travel to be more enjoyable now compared to five years ago.
This was the most surprising to me. Travel is being downsized and squeezed from all angles, less money is being spent, hotels are taking away previously free services and it’s harder to get an airline upgrade. Yet people are enjoying business travel more than ever? Good for them, but I’m not sure I am in that 85%.
Readers, what are your thoughts? Do you use social media or 800 numbers to deal with customer service issues? Is your company spending way less on travel? Are you enjoying your work trips more than five years ago?