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The connected business traveller

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Business Travellers find they are very productive while on the road due to more technology options, according to the CWT Connected Traveller Study

The CWT Connected Traveller Study, released by Carlson Wagonlit Travel reveals that business travellers are bringing more devices, and feel more productive as they are on the road conducting business. The survey of more than 1,900 business travellers found that on an average they carry four different types of technology (mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.), with the smartphone being the one “travel tool they can’t live without,” as more than 80 per cent of travellers across the globe rely on their phone to conduct business.

Study findings

With technology, most travellers (88 per cent) believe travel is easier to navigate today. This has led a significant majority of travellers (78 per cent) to seek opportunities to travel for work and nearly as many find business travel to be stimulating (72 per cent). Business travellers in India like to travel and an overwhelming majority (92 per cent) said they look forward to business travel and an almost equal amount (89 per cent) said they seek out opportunities to travel for work. Additionally, more than any other country in the region, Indian respondents (72 per cent) travel more to both domestic and international destinations.

Today’s travellers are experienced and use that knowledge to plan their trips. More than half (55 per cent) of travellers rely on prior travel experience while planning trips, in addition to hotel websites (54 per cent) and airline websites (50 per cent). Airline and hotel apps make up the bulk of app usage for travelers (45 per cent) while map apps also see heavy use (41 per cent).

“The business traveller can be so much more productive than even five years ago thanks to technology,” said Simon Nowroz, chief marketing officer, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “Think about the advances where a business traveller used to have so much down time between a flight, taxi and hotel. Now, they can login and work while on the plane or wherever they happen to be. With the continued emergence of the tablet, as well as numerous apps, travellers don’t feel out of touch as they carry out business,” HE SAID.

According to the study, work-based relationships and productivity are strengthened through business travel. Nearly nine in 10 business travellers (86 per cent) said travel helped them build new knowledge and perspective, while 80 per cent said business travel boosted their productivity. Additionally, more than nine in 10 (93 per cent) said that travel positives outweighed negatives when it comes to building and maintaining relationships at work, while nearly eight in 10 (77 per cent) say the same about their home lives. Resonating with the global findings, significantly more respondents from India (87 per cent) also said that the positives outweigh the negatives when it comes to building and maintaining relationships at home.

Areas of concern

Two-thirds (67 per cent) of travellers said they believe travel is safer today. However, nearly half (46 per cent) remain concerned about their safety. This has led more travellers (68 per cent) to “sometimes or always” purchase travel insurance. Business travellers also have difficulties maintaining routines and wellness. More than half of traveLlers (54 per cent) say that their exercise and wellness habits are disrupted when they travel.

Regional differences

There were similarities across the Americas, EMEA and APAC. However, APAC travellers felt more in control (84 per cent) in being able to manage their responsibilities compared to Americas (76 per cent) and EMEA (73 per cent) travellers. Those from APAC (53 per cent) were also more likely to say that travel took time away from other work, causing their co-workers to pick up some of the slack.

When it comes to personal relationships, around a quarter of travellers from the Americas felt that travel strained their relationship with their spouse or significant other (27 per cent), more than their EMEA and APAC counterparts (22 per cent). This is likely the reason that travellers in the Americas tried significantly harder to stay connected with family (50 per cent) than APAC (31 per cent) and EMEA (27 per cent) travellers. “There are many variables that can make a business trip a success or a failure in the eyes of the traveller,” said Nowroz, adding “The easier we can make it for travelLers to be organised, the more we help them have a better overall experience.”