Finding the right hotel can be a bit like dating – lots of options yet limited availability and sometimes you need to experience what you don’t like to learn what you love. The first-ever Egencia Global Traveler Survey revealed that business travelers value an easy search with clear results and being remembered. So while we may all want to settle down with our perfect match, here are some of the reasons, we keep searching for “the one”.
Business travelers rarely search only one website prior to booking a hotel. In fact, more than half of business travelers in the United States (51%) compare three or more sites prior to booking. This is despite the fact that 74% of United States business travelers stayed at the same hotel property or brand more than once in the last year.
If you look at the global population, business travelers compare an average of two sites before booking a hotel and almost one-third spend more than 30 minutes comparing hotels online before booking. Nearly two-in-ten (17%) business travelers in the United States spent over 45 minutes searching for the right hotel with the average coming in at 34 minutes; slightly higher than the global average. After all this searching, it’s not surprising that when a traveler finds a great hotel, lack of availability for the specified dates ranks as the top frustration (31% globally and 36% for travelers in the United States).
Kissing frogs can be fun
Almost all business travelers – 90% globally, 94% in the United States and 93% in Canada – claim to enjoy business travel with almost one-third of global respondents saying they enjoy it a great deal. The young – travelers under 35 – say they appreciate business travel most (93%). No surprise that seeing new places, meeting new people and experiencing local culture top the list as to why business travel is fun.
Near me now
While lack of availability may be business travelers’ top frustration, too many steps, choices and unclear results can make business travelers want to leave the dating pool. Business travelers in the United States cited too many search results (29%), not being able to view the location of the hotel versus the desired destination (26%) and difficultly comparing amenities associated with specific rates (26%) as their top three frustrations after lack of room availability for dates needed (36%). Globally, the results vary slightly with unclear cancellation rules and payment options also among the top frustrations.
Business travelers also shared that the hotel brand was an important attribute. Sixty-four percent of travelers surveyed in the United States always stay at the same hotel brand when travelling on business. This figure drops to 49% when reviewing global business traveler preferences. Amazingly, respondents provided similar opinions about hotel brand even if it wasn’t conveniently located – 61% of United States respondents (and 42% globally) will stay at their favorite hotel brand even if the property isn’t conveniently located.
Forget me not
Given that travelers will go out of their way to stay at a preferred hotel, it may come as no surprise that travelers want their loyalty rewarded. What may be more interesting is how travelers want to be rewarded. The short answer: by being remembered. Seventy four percent of business travelers in the United States and 61% globally revealed their desires for hotels to remember travel patterns and preferences from one visit to the next. Almost half of travelers in the United States added their opinion that hotels “don’t understand my travel habits and preferences.”
While the quest can be frustrating, technology can now help streamline the dating process more than ever before. Apps like Tinder are exploding in growth with more than one billion swipes and more than 12 million matches per day according to an interview with the New York Times. The same article says apps like Tinder are “easier, faster and more discreet…”
Egencia believes that the same rules apply to finding the right hotel and is previewing its new hotel shopping experience this week in booth #1871 at the Global Business Travel Association Convention in Orlando. Egencia started with one of the largest dating pools of hotel offerings and screened each one for business travelers. It overlaid technology to create an experience that’s all about finding the “one” perfect hotel because, after all, it’s not about searching. It’s about finding.
Additional results from the Egencia Global Traveler Survey available upon request and additional global results will be shared in fall 2015.
This study was conducted on behalf of Egencia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm. The study was conducted among 8,030 business travelers aged 18 and older in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States. Surveys were completed online from June 26 to July 15, 2015 using the Kantar-owned GMI (Global Market Insite) and Lightspeed Research amalgamated group of panels. Assuming a probability sample, the margin of error would be +/-1.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. This represents a release of results for the United States only. Additional results will be released in fall 2015.