Generational change, mobile technology and consumer travel habits are making an impact on the business travel experience, according to a study published today.
The GBTA research of 430 UK business travellers showed the incorporation of mobile into expense management processes, the sharing economy and use of social media to connect with colleagues are key emerging habits.
The study found access to wifi ranked the highest when asked ‘what one thing all companies should offer their travellers’ - higher than free food and drink and hotel or flight upgrades.
More than half of respondents agreed their overall travel experience is enhanced by the use of mobile apps from suppliers – rising to 62 per cent among Millennials.
The study, which was published in partnership with American Express, showed that older travellers are “significantly” more likely to value their ability to access their travel itinerary or expenses on the move, with two-thirds aged 44-55 rating this as important, compared with 57 per cent of all respondents.
GBTA regional VP EMEA Catherine McGavock, said: “Wifi has become an indispensable technology for UK business travellers and a majority believe mobile apps enhance their experience on the road.
“This comes as no surprise in today’s always-connected world and business travellers will likely continue to demand more ways to allow them to stay connected 24/7.”
The research also highlighted the need for more innovation in the expense management sector with 71 per cent saying they still need to submit expenses by paper – 24 per cent said they can submit expenses by a mobile device.
Older travellers seem more concerned about “timely reimbursement of expenses” with 83 per cent aged 45-54 saying this ranks as “important”, against 64 per cent of 35-44 year olds.