New Orleans, April 3, 2018 - A new white paper commissioned by iSeatz, a technology company providing ancillary booking solutions, titled Business Traveler and their Demand for Ancillary Services, researched by Phocuswright, shows that business travelers are interested in purchasing more than just rooms from hotels. Hotels now follow a trend set by airlines, which were faster to adopt ancillary products into their purchase offerings, and have grown 10x to $28 billion from a decade ago for the top ten airlines.
Who is Today's Business Traveler?
Corporate travel represents 31% of the overall U.S. travel market. Business travelers both traveling more frequently, and consuming more travel-related ancillary products, than the leisure traveler.
- Business travelers are more loyal than leisure travelers: 59% of business travelers belong to one or more hotel loyalty programs.
- The majority of business travelers (56%) are between the ages of 25-45.
- 65% of online business travelers are male. Online business travelers are also more likely to have an undergraduate degree or better level of education. They also have a significantly higher income ($97,500 vs. $81,600 for travelers overall).
What are Business Travelers Habits?
A significant proportion of business traveler respondents indicated they are interested in purchasing more than “core” hotel products. Younger travelers in particular, (ages 18-34), demonstrate significantly higher demand for certain ancillaries. The most notable ancillary products are in-room entertainment, retail sundries, on-property personal and business services and club level access.
- 82% of business travelers surveyed between the ages of 18-34 would be interested in purchasing extra loyalty program points or having this included in the nightly rate.
- More than 80% of business travelers surveyed are interested in purchasing late checkout (87%) or early check-in (85%), or have this value included in the nightly rate.
In addition to detailing the Corporate traveler landscape and the interest in purchasing travel add-ons, the white paper explores the differences in travel habits of business travelers with and without corporate travel policies; bleisure travel trends; and differences in purchasing habits for business travelers by age and type of stay.
- 47% of bleisure travelers surveyed utilized midscale (3-star) hotels with 31% utilizing upscale or luxury properties (4-5 stars).
- Services that travelers would like to secure at the time of booking include high-speed Wi-Fi (41%), parking (41%), early-check- in (40%), and pre-paid breakfast (37%).
The Hotel's Perspective on Ancillary Products
This white paper also touches on the challenges faced by hotels. Key hotel chain executives were interviews on why many hotels do not offer ancillary products. Hotels that were interviewed cited lack of technology, information sharing, employee incentivizing, and cost of implementation as challenges to offering ancillary products to their guests.
“The travel life cycle is now undergoing a phase of rapid evolution. Travel brands are looking to differentiate and decommoditize at every point.” said Kenneth Purcell, CEO & Founder of iSeatz, “As a travel technology partner, iSeatz knows what travelers want. We help our partners build the technology to deliver it. Our goals are to help automate and simplify the search, booking and management of myriad travel and related goods and services; to suggest innovative paths to purchase; to capture responses; and to optimize users’ experiences.”
This white paper is the companion piece to Hotel Ancillaries: An Unexplored Opportunity which focused on the leisure traveler’s interest in ancillary products, and published in 2017. To view the leisure white paper, please click here: http://bit.ly/LeisureAncillaryResearch
Founded in 1999 and based in New Orleans, iSeatz is a leading travel commerce and ancillary merchandising technology company for travel, financial services and entertainment brands. Focused on customization and backed by proven deliverability, reliable advanced analytics and travel lifecycle expertise, iSeatz sets the bar for a superb travel journey from the very first search. The award-winning iSeatz OneView platform meets brands’ exact requirements for delivering a highly personalized and engaging commerce experience that drives conversions, customer satisfaction and advocacy. iSeatz custom digital experiences allow prospective travelers to search, discover and book a spectrum of travel-related products. iSeatz travel technology solutions connect people to unique travel journeys, generating over $2.5 billion in annual sales for our partners each year from more than three million annual bookings. The iSeatz partner portfolio includes brands such as American Express, Air Canada, Amtrak, Expedia, and IHG. Learn more at iSeatz.com.
As with the previous study, this research study was approached from two complementary angles. Initially, to understand the demand side, Phocuswright fielded an online consumer survey in early November 2017 through SSI, targeting the general U.S. adult traveling population that plans to travel online. To qualify for participation, respondents had to have taken at least one trip at least 75 miles from home in the past 12 months that included paid lodging and/or air travel; have used the Internet to select their destination, compare and choose travel products, book travel or share travel experiences; and have played active roles in the actual planning of their trip.
An additional screener question was used to identify Online Business Travelers, defined as online travelers who took at least one business trip in the last 12 months. Phocuswright received 2,102 qualified responses, and the respondent pool can be projected with confidence onto the U.S. online traveler population. The error interval for analysis is +/-2.2% at a 95% confidence level. To complement this quantitative data and better understand the demand side of the ancillary market, Phocuswright also conducted a series of in-depth, 30-minute telephone interviews with key personnel within the U.S. hotel sector. Respondents comprised representatives of both chains and independent properties, and included a mix of e-commerce, sales and marketing and operations functions, at both the individual property and the corporate level.