Data Shows Increase in Top-Tier Hotel Bookings and Provides Insight into Number of Clients Flying in the “Front of the Plane”

Plymouth, MN (September 17, 2013) — Today, Travel Leaders Group provided survey data specific to its business travelers indicating a 3.5% increase in the number of clients staying in either “luxury” or “upper upscale” hotel properties while on the road for business, as well as 4.6% increase over last year in the number of agents indicating “11% or more” of their business travel airline bookings are in First or Business Class. The top reasons cited for why a business traveler would fly Coach Class are “company policy” (52.6%) followed by “cost” (43.1%).  The latest finding also indicate year-over-year business travel bookings are “on par or better than last year” at this time for 84.3% of the survey participants.

This data on business travel is based on responses from 306 U.S.-based travel agency owners, managers and frontline travel agents who indicated that 50% or more of their portfolio is made up of business travelers. These results are part of the larger 2013 Fall Travel Trends Survey conducted by Travel Leaders Group from August 5 – August 25, 2013, in which 946 travel agent experts from the flagship Travel Leaders brand, along with those affiliated with Travel Leaders Group’s Luxury Travel Network, Nexion, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders Corporate, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com units participated.

“Our findings, based on our business travel bookings, certainly mirror the country as a whole – we are seeing growth in some key areas, which demonstrates positive news economically,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben. “While we would love to see bigger increases in certain areas, we’re still pleased that over 84% of our agents who specialize in business travel indicate that bookings are on equal to or better than last year is important to note.  We continue to work with our corporate clients in increasing the adoption of their travel policies by their traveling employees, which in turn benefits their bottom line.  The more they can take advantage of special negotiated rates with key air, car and hotel suppliers, the more they can continue to have their employees ‘on the road,’ which is vital to their corporate growth.”

First/Business Class vs. Coach

When asked “For your 2013 year-to-date business travel air bookings, what percentage of clients are purchasing ‘front of the cabin’?” more than half (55.9%) of survey participants indicated over 10% of their clients are flying in the front of the plane.

Fall 2013

Fall 2012

11% or More of Bookings in First/Business Class

55.9%

51.3%

1-10% of Bookings in First/Business Class

38.9%

44.6%

0% of Bookings in First/Business Class

5.2%

4.1%

 

When asked for the top reasons why their business travelers fly in coach, the top response was “company policy” (52.6%) followed by “cost” (43.1%).  In 2012 it was reversed – “cost” (50.6%) followed by “company policy” (44.3%).

Hotel Bookings for Business Travel

  • When asked “What percentage of your business travel clients add a hotel reservation to their travel itinerary?” a majority (67.3%) of Travel Leaders Group agents report that more than half of their clients request a hotel booking in addition to their airline reservation; while 24.6% state that between 20-50% of their business travel clients require a hotel booking in addition to their airfare. (In 2012 the percentages were 63.8% and 28.4%, respectively.)
  • When asked “Which hotel category would you say the majority of your business travel clients book?” 63.9 %of Travel Leaders Group agents state the “Luxury” and “Upper Upscale” categories, while 31.8% indicate “Upscale” and “Upper Midscale” categories. (In 2012 the percentages were 55.0% and 39.3% respectively.)

Car Rentals for Business Travel Leaders

  • When asked “What percentage of your business travel clients add a car rental reservation to their travel itinerary?” a majority (54.7%) of Travel Leaders Group agents report that more than half of their clients request a car rental in addition to their airline reservation; while 32.4% state that between 20-50% of their business travel clients require a rental car in addition to their airfare, which is nearly identical to last year.
  • When asked “Which rental car category would you say the majority of your business travel clients book? 78.6%of Travel Leaders Group agents say “Midsize,” while 12.2% indicate “Full size.”

Duty of Care

  • Because business travelers may encounter situations that impact their safety and well-being, survey participants were asked, “Which types of incidents required you to execute Duty of Care procedures for your client?” the top responses were:  “Airline emergency,” “Hurricane,” and “Civil unrest in an international country.”

Year-Over-Year Comparable Business Travel Bookings

When asked “Comparing your overall 2013 business travel bookings so far to your 2012 business travel bookings at this time last year, which is true?” the responses were as follows:

2013 Fall

2012 Fall

2011 Fall

They’re higher

53.9%

55.0%

60.0%

They’re about even

30.4%

25.3%

23.5%

They’re lower

15.7%

19.7%

16.5%

 

Travel Leaders Group is one of North America’s largest travel companies – encompassing nearly one-third of all travel agents – and generates gross travel sales of approximately $18 billion. Travel Leaders Group is a leader in both the retail travel agency space and corporate travel, and it consistently ranks as one of the top travel companies nationwide. Most recently, Travel Leaders Group was named #1 on the Business Travel News Business 2013 Travel Survey and was again among the Top 10 on the Travel Weekly Power List.

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About Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group (www.travelleadersgroup.com) is transforming travel with a commitment to our vacation and business travel clients via our progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Having already assisted millions of travelers – through our beginnings as Carlson Leisure Group, a division of Carlson Companies, TraveLeaders and Tzell Travel Group and through the additions of Nexion, Vacation.com and Protravel International – Travel Leaders Group manages leisure, business and franchise travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands. With annual sales of approximately $18 billion, Travel Leaders Group not only ranks as the #1 corporate travel management company by Business Travel News, but it is also among the top ten travel companies on the 2013 Travel Weekly Power List. In 2012, Entrepreneur ranked a Travel Leaders Franchise Brand #1 in the category of “Travel Agencies-Miscellaneous.”