MCLEAN, Va. - "More client face time for my dime," is a phrase that captures the results of Embassy Suites Hotels' Third Annual nationwide Business Travel Survey*. The survey offers an insightful look into the state of business travel, revealing perceptions on the importance of client face time and its implications when it comes to business relationships. It also gives an insider's look into hotel and flight preferences and the top destinations and airports for business travel.
"We think it's important to take the pulse of America's business travelers each year to validate current travel trends and uncover new ones," said John Lee, vice president, brand marketing for Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Worldwide. "As 60 percent of our guests are business travelers, it's a priority to ensure that we are consistently providing an offering that makes each and every business trip even better."
Face Time Trumps Technology . . .Ninety-seven percent of business travelers think face time is the most important part of developing and maintaining strong client relationships and over half (53 percent) of business travelers reported having more in-person meetings with clients than in previous years. "Face-to-face meetings are irreplaceable when it comes to the health of client relationships," says business travel strategist Joel Widzer, Psy.D. "We connect with our clients better when we are able to meet in person, which certainly makes it worth taking that business trip on a regular basis."
In fact, 76 percent of business travelers who had less face time with clients in the past 12 months reported it had a negative impact on their business relationships. For those still skeptical about planning a trip for the next business meeting, the survey found that almost 1-in-5 (18 percent) of business travelers reported losing a project because they were unable to travel to see a client and 17 percent say they lost the client altogether.
In this digital age where professionals rely on technology for just about everything, the question remains - can apps, emails and video chats replace old fashioned face time with clients? According to Embassy Suites' survey, the answer is no. Respondents indicated it would take an average of five video conferences, 10 phone calls or 20 emails to replace one hour of face-to-face contact with a client.
On the Road More, But Still Looking for Value . . .According to Embassy Suites' survey, business travel is on the rise compared to 2010. While business travelers are on the road again, it's clear they are still looking for value when it comes to booking hotels (27 percent, up from 24 percent in 2010). Business travelers remain budget savvy about accommodations, but they report splurging more when it comes to flights and food. This year, less road warriors are flying exclusively coach to reach their business travel destinations (down to 21 percent from 29 percent in 2010), and only 1-in-5 are cutting back on meals this year, down 4 percent from 2010.
"At Embassy Suites Hotels, we are proud to provide business travelers great value and more bang for their buck as they make face time with clients a priority," says Lee. "Our spacious, two-room suites give business travelers ample space to spread out, while our complimentary, cooked-to-order breakfast helps them fuel up for the day, and the nightly Manager's Reception** with complimentary appetizers and beverages offers a great venue to celebrate the day's successes. These offerings, ideal for the business traveler, are available at every Embassy Suites Hotel for approximately the same price of another full service, upscale hotel."
Big Apple Ranks Best for Business Travel . . .When it comes to the best U.S. cities for business travel, New York City is king-the Big Apple was ranked first by survey respondents (20 percent), with the "Windy City" of Chicago in second place (12 percent), and Los Angeles in third (10 percent).
Business travelers are torn when it comes to choosing the easiest U.S. airport - John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in Texas are tied for first (each receiving 10 percent of the vote), while Los Angeles International Airport and O'Hare International Airport in Chicago are tied for second (each earned themselves 8 percent of the vote).
Embassy Suites Hotels strives to cater to business travelers' needs, through a variety of resources including 24-hour Embassy BusinessLinkTM Centers. To book your next business trip hotel stay at Embassy Suites, please visit www.embassysuites.com.
**Service of alcohol subject to state and local laws. Must be of legal drinking age.
703 883 5346
212 805 8048
The Embassy Suites Business Travel Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.WakefieldResearch.com) between March 23 and March 28, 2011. For this research, 709 interviews were fielded among nationally representative American business travelers ages 21 and older, using an email invitation and an online survey.
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of that variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews conducted. For the interviews conducted, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.68 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
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.