Travel Leaders Unveil Top Business Travel Trends for 2010

Today, Travel Leaders unveiled the top business travel trends for 2010 based on findings from their annual Travel Trends Survey. The survey shows 67% of Travel Leaders’ business-focused travel agents are forecasting that business travel for 2010 will match or exceed their total bookings for last year.

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What have your business travel clients indicated in terms of either actual bookings and/or client feedback as to the amount of travel they anticipate for 2010 compared to 2009?

Minneapolis, MN (Vocus) January 27, 2010

Today, Travel Leaders unveiled the top business travel trends for 2010 based on findings from their annual Travel Trends Survey. The survey shows 67% of Travel Leaders’ business-focused travel agents are forecasting that business travel for 2010 will match or exceed their total bookings for last year. Conducted November 30-December 18, 2009, these business travel trends are based on responses from 227 Travel Leaders owners, managers and frontline travel experts throughout the United States and comparables to the overall national results of 521 Travel Leaders experts are included. To view the results from the 2010 Travel Leaders Travel Trends Survey, click here.

“Because business travelers make up a very significant segment of Travel Leaders’ overall mix of bookings, we dived deeper into our annual roll-up results for both corporate and leisure travelers to specifically examine what 2010 has in store for business travel in particular,” stated Roger E. Block, CTC, president of Travel Leaders Franchise Group, which includes hundreds of locations nationwide. “We’re seeing that business travel clients continue to book the same level of hotel accommodations as in the past, but we’re also seeing a noteworthy percentage of Travel Leaders business travel experts indicating a fair number of their clients are now starting to fly in business or in first class, signifying that some business clients are starting to loosen their travel policies. That being said, many clients are still opting for economy class airline tickets as they seek to maximize value at every turn.”

Anticipated level of business travel in 2010
When Travel Leaders business travel experts were asked, “What have your business travel clients indicated in terms of either actual bookings and/or client feedback as to the amount of travel they anticipate for 2010 compared to 2009?” 38.3% said booking levels would remain on par with 2009, 28.6% said that booking levels would increase in 2010, and only 11.9% indicated that they expected a further decline.

First/Business Class vs. Coach
When asked to provide the percentage of business clients who are purchasing first class tickets, over a third (35.2%) of Travel Leaders business travel experts indicated that 11% or more of their bookings are in first or business class. Another 53.7% indicated that 1-10% of their clientele is flying “up front.”

Hotel accommodations
When asked if business travel clients were trading up on hotel reservations to take advantage of the great values/deals available, trading down because of budget constraints or bookings the same hotel category, the vast majority indicated that their clients were booking the same category of hotel accommodations (71.8%), while 17.2% indicated that business travel clients were actually trading up.

Domestic travel
Over 90% of Travel Leaders’ business travel experts indicated their clients make reservations two weeks or less prior to their travel date for domestic trips (the top response was one week at 44.5%, followed by two weeks at 24.2% and less than one week at 21.6%). That compares with the 54.5% of Travel Leaders leisure travel experts who said their clients make reservations eight or more weeks prior to their travel date for domestic trips.

International travel
Nearly 73% of Travel Leaders’ business travel experts said their clients make reservations 1-3 weeks prior to their travel date (the top response was two weeks at 31.3%, followed by three weeks at 22.5% and one week at 18.9%). That contrasts with 90.8% of Travel Leaders’ leisure agents, who say their customers make reservations eight or more weeks in advance of their trip.

When your journey includes us, you travel better. To find the Travel Leaders location nearest you, go to http://www.TravelLeaders.com or call 1.888.206.TRIP (8747).

Travel Leaders is transforming travel with a name that boldly embodies our commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via a progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. As one of America’s top ten-ranked travel companies, Travel Leaders has assisted millions of travelers through our strong roots – the former Carlson Wagonlit Travel Associates, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group joined together in 2008 to form one of the industry’s fastest-growing and robust networks of travel agents. Travel Leaders Franchise Group can trace its beginnings to 1984 as the franchise system “Ask Mr. Foster Travel,” which itself was North America’s first travel agency chain established in 1888.

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