Do Business Travelers Pick by Price?
- April 2012
- David Juman
Despite the belief that business travelers tend to disregard price when the company is footing the bill, a recent report from Phocuswright finds that cost remains an important factor in travel planning, both for travelers who are guided by a corporate travel policy and those who are not. According to Phocuswright's U.S. Business Traveler: Managed, Unmanaged and Rogue (a Global Edition publication), three in 10 managed business travelers who break with policy do so because they book whatever travel brand offers the best price.
The fact that price is a strong driver of "rogue" behavior presents a complex challenge for travel managers seeking to improve compliance. In addition, among business travelers not governed by a corporate policy, nearly four in 10 (39%) stated they are no less concerned with price when planning their business travel, compared to their personal leisure travel planning.
Based on comprehensive survey of more than 2,000 business travelers in the U.S., Phocuswright's U.S. Business Traveler: Managed, Unmanaged and Rogue explores the behavior of managed and unmanaged business travelers, and provides an overview of managed travel policy structure, flexibility and compliance. The report highlights fundamental similarities and differences between the leisure and business travel planning process.
"There's no doubt that managed travelers frequently 'go rogue' in order to book a flight or hotel that's more convenient for them," says Carroll Rheem, director, research at Phocuswright. "However, price sensitivity is also driving out-of-policy behavior. Business travelers don't always need flexibility or other terms that can result in higher prices. They are savvy shoppers and know how to use online tools to find the lowest cost options. These costs might not be coming out of their wallets, but they are coming out of their – typically limited – budgets. It is instinctive for people to seek the best bang for the buck, even if it isn't theirs. Many perceive this simply as the right thing to do."
Watch the video – click the graphic below to hear more from Carroll Rheem:
Phocuswright's U.S. Business Traveler: Managed, Unmanaged and Rogue offers detailed analysis across a broad range of topics, including:
- General business traveler behavior, including trip frequency, purpose and duration; travel spend; and travel components purchased (air, hotel, car rental and rail travel)
- The impact of video conferencing and other virtual meeting technology on certain types of business trips – training, conferences and trade shows, sales/client meetings, etc.
- Business travel policies – structure, compliance with managed travel programs – and key drivers of rogue behavior
- The travel planning processes for managed and unmanaged business travelers, including information sources, booking channels and factors that influence decision making
- Points of differentiation between business and leisure travel planning
MORE DETAIL & TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Analysts reveal the characteristics and behavior of business travelers in the U.S., including those who are managed by a corporate travel policy and those who are not. Learn More