MCLean, Va. - “Places to go, people to see” is more likely to be heard around the office this year, compared to 2009, according to the results of Embassy Suites Hotels’ second annual nationwide Business Travel Survey*. The survey offers an insightful look into the state of business travel in light of the economy, revealing hotel and travel preferences and behaviors among business travelers. It also touches on the recent trends in technology, such as how travelers are incorporating social networking into their business trip routines.
On the road again . . .
Compared to 2009, the number of working Americans who said they were traveling less for business this year because of the economy decreased from 51% to 43%. However, travelers have also gotten smarter about value, and found ways to cut back on expenses while on the road over the last year. Seven in ten (71%) respondents changed their business travel habits compared to 2009, with more business travelers flying coach, cutting back on meals and sharing rooms with colleagues due to the economic climate.
But traveling wiser . . .
Given this smarter travel mindset, it’s not surprising that key considerations like hotel location and price are the most important factors to a majority (56%) of business travelers. Proximity to business meetings is the most important consideration for business travelers when choosing a hotel (29%) with price of accommodations coming in as a close second (27%). Free breakfast is the most important factor for more than twice as many business travelers as complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport (7% vs. 3%).
”We’re seeing business travelers care more about necessities, like location and value, this year,” said John Lee, vice president of Brand Marketing & Communications, Embassy Suites Hotels. “Embassy Suites appreciates the smart business traveler and continues to shape our offering to meet their needs, by offering over 200 centrally located hotels, as well as the amenities that business travelers need and want, like our complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast and our evening Manager’s Reception** included in each stay.”
The survey also revealed differences in business travel preferences between males and females. Male business travelers put greater importance on traveling luxuriously than female travelers, showing a stronger preference for flying first class (29% vs. 16%) and staying in five-star hotels (33% vs. 26%).
Younger travelers leverage digital resources . . .
Young business travelers (ages 21-34 years old) have a distinct approach and opinion about business travel compared to their more senior counterparts, which can be seen from the beginning of their business trip experience, even before they pack their bags. Young business travelers are almost twice as likely to visit Facebook before making business travel decisions (48% vs. 26%). Thirty-five percent of young business travelers who used a social network reported receiving help finding a hotel that fits their needs. Young professionals are much more likely to bring a variety of tech items when on business trips, including MP3 players (54% vs. 33% of all business travelers), smart-phones (50% vs. 32%), portable DVD players (19% vs. 10%) and portable gaming devices (14% vs. 6%) These young techies have excellent online resources at their fingertips to help them become fluent in the language of business travel. Web sites such as Embassy Suites’ BusinessBalance.com - a web site loaded with tips, tools and resources from savvy blogger experts – are designed to help business travelers find balance on the road.
Embassy Suites Hotels
*Embassy Suites Business Travel Survey Methodology
Braun Research administered an online survey to 700 working Americans, ages 21 and older, who took at least one trip related to business in the last year. Included in the sample was an oversample of 300 “young” business travelers, ages 21-34 years-old. Interviews were conducted between April 1 and April 12, 2010. Results are reported at the 95 percent confidence level with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.
**The service of alcoholic beverages is subject to state and local laws.
About Embassy Suites by Hilton
Embassy Suites by Hilton, one of Hilton’s 14 market-leading brands, is dedicated to delivering what matters most to travelers. The full service, upscale brand offers two-room suites, free made-to-order breakfast and a nightly two-hour reception with complimentary drinks and snacks. Both leisure and business travelers looking for a relaxed, yet sophisticated experience will feel right at home with brand-standard amenities like inviting atriums and complimentary 24-hour business and fitness centers. Embassy Suites by Hilton has more than 230 hotels with 50 in the pipeline. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations) available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. For more information, visit embassysuites.com or news.embassysuites.com. Social media users may connect with Embassy Suites by Hilton at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 4,900 properties with over 800,000 rooms in 104 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.