Travel and Transport Reports that Traveler Satisfaction Trumps Savings & Compliance

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Sixty percent of travel buyers surveyed say traveler satisfaction is their primary concern.

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This information is critical because it confirms what we believe to be the most crucial aspect of corporate travel – productivity.

In a recent survey, conducted by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in partnership with Travel and Transport and Radius Travel, of GBTA buyer members responsible for executing travel contracts with travel management companies, 60 percent of respondents said that traveler satisfaction is the most important factor when evaluating corporate travel.

Traveler satisfaction beat out hard dollar savings (47 percent) and policy compliance (40 percent), which were the next two considerations. Interestingly, traveler satisfaction remained the number one factor across travel budgets of less than $10 million, $10 to $30 million and over $30 million, and both countries represented (the United States and Canada).

“This information is critical because it confirms what we believe to be the most crucial aspect of corporate travel – productivity,” said Radius Travel President, Kieran Hartwell. “Employees travel for a number of reasons, many of which involve securing new business or nurturing existing profitable relationships. You can’t do that effectively over the long term if you are rushing to make connections or stressed by unsafe lodging.”

In an industry that is, like others, pressed to make budget dollars stretch farther, it is somewhat surprising that hard dollar savings fell behind traveler satisfaction. Yet, Joel Bailey, SVP, Customer Solutions with Travel and Transport says people have to be at their best to deliver results that drive growth for their organizations.

“The best policies are in place to protect employees and help a business achieve bottom-line growth, but when road warriors are running on fumes, they can’t deliver those wins that businesses need to remain healthy. When they’re satisfied and feel supported, they’re more productive and the bottom line is healthier as a result,” said Bailey.

Deloitte reported in its 2018 Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook that global travel industry gross bookings reached $1.6 trillion in 2017, which makes sense since a strong global economy leads to increased travel to accommodate increased business activity. With corporate travel expected to see its highest rate of growth since 2011, and technologies like AI, IoT and voice technology creating new efficiencies, travel buyers aren’t likely to change their priorities anytime soon.

“The trend in the industry is to focus on taking care of corporate travelers,” said Tim Fleming Travel and Transport President. “Travel organizations aligned with that goal are the ones most likely to thrive.”

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Chantel Windeshausen

Ann Pedersen
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