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TripAdvisor Business Travel Survey

TripAdvisor recently conducted and published the results of its annual business travel survey of more than 1,500 travelers worldwide. The shocking news? People like to travel for work. I’m not surprised as I wouldn’t trade my travel job for the world, but after reading SO many other bloggers who constantly whine about the hassles of being on the road, it’s nice to hear a little reinforcement.

A whopping 62% of travelers surveyed replied they “often” enjoy business travel and an overzealous 18% said they “always” enjoy it. After working for a law firm in college, I don’t like to throw around terms like “always,” so I’d say I enjoy it MOST of the time. What do these folks like so much? Seeing new places was the winner with 34% responding. And we business travelers seem to like luxuries, bath products and deluxe bedding. Heck yes, I need a sleep number bed from the Sheraton.

Some people are smarter about their business travel than others. 49% of respondents often take some leisure time during business trips to take advantage of the company-expensed travel. Those would be the people who love traveling for work. I’ve said it a thousand times, you have to get out of the hotel bar if you want to have any fun. You won’t accomplish much if you sit in your room watching HBO every night, although occasionally that’s great too. This is more of an American trend, with 53% of yanks taking leisure time, compared to only 28% in the U.K.

What do the people hate? It’s no surprise. For the second year running, travelers named flight delays and cancellations as the biggest pain in the neck. 31% said the recent airline delays and cancellations will affect their business travel plans. Northwest really is ruining it for everyone. Because of the headaches, 15% of respondents will consider driving more for business travel this
year, 9% will consider taking a train, and 7% will consider more video conferencing. I like driving. Then I can sing.

Marriott scored the top spot for business for the second consecutive year. I’m not a fan because you have to pay for internet. Hilton was the second favorite, also for the second year in a row, followed by Sheraton and the Holiday Inn, which tied for third. Surprisingly only 26% of respondents listed high-speed internet access as a key amenity. Location was slightly more important with 30% of the vote.

Are travelers racking up the hotel points? Heck yeah. 59% of respondents “often” stay at the same hotel chain. 27% of those are in it for the rewards points. Of the travelers surveyed, 78% are hotel rewards program members. That’s a lot!

We like our expense accounts. 34% of the travelers admitted they spend more on food and drink when it’s on the company dime. Watch out with that, though. You can rack up the pounds as easily as you rack up the miles. In addition to spending large, 36% are more generous with the tip than they would be if it were their personal tab.

Where are we going? New York City was the top city for business traveler for the second year in a row, followed by Chicago, London, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

It was interesting to read that 16% of travelers fly into less convenient “secondary” airports to save money. Now, I’ll try to save my employer a buck by taking an earlier or later flight, but that’s going a little too far. To top that, 24% said flight plans are always based on fare. If those 24% aren’t self-employed, I think they should start looking for a new job. I couldn’t deal with that.

Want a juicy factoid? 12% of business travelers surveyed admit to having visited a strip club while traveling on business. Oh, behave. I’m in the other 88% on that one.