By Karen Axelton
Are you traveling more often on business than you were this time a year ago? You’re not alone. The fourth annual Embassy Suites Hotels Business Travel Survey found that despite a still-challenging economy, a full one-third of respondents say they are traveling more frequently for face-to-face meetings with clients. Here are some other key business travel trends the survey uncovered:
Cutting costs: To afford those more frequent business trips, travelers are looking for good deals on hotels (22 percent) and cutting back on incidental expenses such as meals (19 percent).
Mixing business with pleasure: Another way travelers cut costs while making the most out of a trip is by combining business with a personal trip. About 70 percent of frequent business travelers said they extend business trips at least some of the time. On average, they stay three extra days when they do so. The most popular cities for combining business with leisure travel were San Diego (60 percent), Seattle (39 percent) and Denver (36 percent). Asked who they’d most like to take on a business trip, 60 percent of respondents said their significant other.
High expectations for hotels: Business travelers are picky about their hotels, with amenities cited by 20 percent as the most important factor in choosing a hotel. However, they don’t always get what they want. Almost half (46 percent) of frequent travelers would like more space to spread out in their hotel rooms. Fourteen percent say small hotel rooms are their biggest pet peeve when traveling. The biggest pet peeve overall? Having to share a room on the road.
What are business travelers’ favorite amenities at hotels? Approximately 70 percent of frequent travelers say free breakfasts, 54 percent say complimentary happy hours and 42 percent say HD televisions in their hotel rooms.
Tech troubles top the list: When asked what travel troubles make them most likely to have a meltdown, nearly 60 percent of frequent business travelers cited technology problems, such as issues with a laptop computer or forgetting a mobile phone. The most common technological issues were being unable to send a client email (55 percent), unable to open important documents or presentations (45 percent) or missing meeting notices (31 percent) or deadlines (25 percent).
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