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September 9, 2016

New Study Shows What Drives Business Travel Satisfaction, Cross-Generationally

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American Express Global Business Travel and the GBTA Foundation launched a new study exploring what drives and impacts travel satisfaction for frequent business travelers. More specifically, the study focuses on what drives and impacts travel satisfactions for frequent business travelers across different demographics.

The new study, titled Traveler Satisfaction: Exploring the Generational Divide in Business Travel, identifies four main components that correlate with business travel satisfactions: booking, productivity during travel, tracking and personal life. Only booking and productivity during travel spanned the generational gaps, while tracking and personal life only emerged when breaking down the data by generation.

The study was conducted via an online survey of 2,025 business travelers in the United States and Canada between January 4-19, 2016. The study focuses on 805 of the respondents who have traveled four or more times for business in the past year, marking them as frequent business travelers.

For the survey, booking was defined as everything from the variety of suppliers that travelers can choose to book with, how they are able to book to the ease of making changes to their trip and more. Since booking is a part of every business travel experience, it was expected that a seamless booking experience would drive satisfaction of business travelers of all ages.

Productivity during travel included variables such as traveling on a plane, renting a car, staying at hotels and enrollment in a risk-based security program, like Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Overall, getting through airport security was a pain for most business travelers but tools like the security programs often alleviated those struggles. The study proved that frequent business travelers often paid for those tools themselves as companies don’t offer them but they drastically improve business travel experience.

Tracking and reporting focuses on variables including methods for submitting expense reports, tracking receipts and use of a personal or corporate card to pay for business expenses. The study concluded that alleviating this pain point drives satisfaction for all business travelers.

The main difference between generations of business travelers was personal life, meaning, the ability to maintain good relationships with friends and children while traveling. This affected productivity and satisfaction for Baby Boomers, but not so much with Millennials or Gen-Xers.

Overall, the study showed that a company acknowledging that there is not a “one-size-fits-all” solution to keeping employees satisfied is the first step to increasing employee productivity and satisfaction. The findings showed significant differences among frequent business travelers of different generations, but American Express Global Business Travel and the GBTA foundation suggest focusing on the key drivers of employee satisfaction through a generational lens will help boost satisfaction company wide.

To read and download the full study, visit www.amexglobalbusinesstravel.com/traveler-satisfaction-gbta-whitepaper

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