Technology is easing the journey for business travelers

Carlson Wagonlit Travel has released a study which shows that business travelers still view “being there” as highly important, despite inconveniences like time spent away from the office and family, as well as the discomforts of the journey.

The study finds that technology enhances business travel.

The CWT survey reveals that 88% find business travel easier to navigate today thanks to technology. While the average business traveller surveyed carries four different types of technology (mobile, phone, tablet and laptop), 80% described their smartphones as the “travel tool they can’t live without.”

More than 80% of travelers across the globe actively use their smartphones to conduct business. Perhaps because of this, 54% of those surveyed said that they bring too many devices with them while traveling.

More than half (55%) of travelers apply prior travel experience while planning trips, and rely on hotel (54%) and airline (50%) websites to fill the gaps. A significant number of travelers (45%) actively use airline and hotel apps as their primary travel technology and 41% also rely heavily on map apps.

Simon Nowroz, chief marketing officer, Carlson Wagonlit Travel explains:

“The business traveller can be so much more productive than even five years ago thanks to technology. Think about the advances where a business traveller used to have so much down time between a flight, taxi and hotel.

“Now, they can login and work while on the plane or wherever they happen to be. With the continued emergence of the tablet, as well as numerous apps, travelers don’t feel out of touch as they carry out business.”

Business travelers also actively use technology to limit the “disconnect” with co-workers and family.

To stay in touch with family and friends most (44%) will still call, but 24% use Skype and 17% use text messages as their preferred communications. To connect with co-workers most (44%) will use email, 24% will call and 14% will use text messages.

While there are similarities among global participants, CWT reports that 84% of APAC travelers felt more in control in being able to manage their responsibilities while traveling. By comparison, only 76% of travelers from the Americas and 73% of EMEA travelers felt the same.

Nowroz added:

“There are many variables that can make a business trip a success or a failure in the eyes of the traveller. The easier we can make it for travelers to be organized, the more we help them have a better overall experience.”

According to CTW’s findings, 93% of those surveyed find that the positives of business travel outweigh the negatives and 77% say this also applies to their home lives.

CWT finds that 86% business travelers believe that travel can help build knowledge and perspective and 80% say travel actually boosts productivity. A majority of travelers (78%) actively seek opportunities to travel for work, and 72% find that business travel is stimulating.

There are some opportunities for travel companies to differentiate their services by addressing areas of concern. While 67% of travelers said they believe travel is safer today, 46% still expressed some concerns in this area. As a result, 68% said they “sometimes or always” buy travel insurance.

Business travelers also said they find it difficult to maintain personal well-being while traveling, with 54% saying that travel disrupts exercise and wellness routines.

The CWT Connected Traveler study includes 1,900 business travelers aged 25-65 across 16 countries in the Americas, EMEA, and APAC. To qualify, participants had to have made more than four business trips in the past 12 months.

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