Kevin Eagan - Mar 24, 2014
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Corporate travel management, the important act of choosing the right hotels for a company's business trips and managing hotel spending, could be easily under-appreciated by hoteliers as it is the travelling employees that are greeted at the desk that make the biggest impression. Because of this, new research from the Global Business Travel Association could prove helpful because it suggests that these establishments should be paying more attention to these managers because they are making a lot of important decisions and have a surprising amount of control. 

These corporate travel managers have many responsibilities on their shoulders, so they can ensure their employees' comfort and enjoyment on business trips, and it is easy to underestimate the number of considerations that they have to make when choosing the right accommodation and creating efficient travel programs. As part of this GBTA survey, participating managers were asked to rate the amenities that they give the most consideration to when choosing a mid-price hotel – the results showed some interesting preferences. Top of the list was free Wi-Fi (98%), which is fairly obvious for business travellers, but a free breakfast (83%), on-site parking (76%), an airport shuttle (59%) and fitness facilities (56%) all ranked higher than the presence of a business centre, which was mentioned by only 47%.

All these different considerations are now more firmly in the hands of these corporate travel managers.

The good news is that while these managers clearly have a lot to think about and clear preferences to try and adhere too, this is not necessarily a negative factor because 58% of those asked said they were also enjoying greater control than ever before. This is a definite benefit, particularly when 70% feel that cost control and budgeting is a primary responsibility and 54% feel they are responsible for making sure that employees are using “preferred suppliers”. The survey goes on to show that a massive 91% of corporate travel managers have a preferred program in place and, interestingly, only 31% of these favoured hotels are chains, which is promising for independent hotels. In fact, the most important criteria for making the list seems to be the location and the potential for a discount.

Understanding these managers for improved business in the future.

This GBTA survey has highlighted some interesting results. Some may come as a surprise, such as the fact that only 53% thought about hotel security, but these shocks are just as valuable as any other statistic as they help hoteliers see another side to business travel. Understand the role of this empowered corporate travel manager and you could perhaps work towards better relationships and increased revenue from business trips.

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