WASHINGTON, April 24, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, all across the country, corporations, members of Congress, and individuals are saying a heartfelt "thank you" to business travelers, whose tireless criss-crossing of the nation and overseas helps America's economy prosper.
National Business Traveler Day is the brainchild of 25 major companies and organizations, led by founding member Upside Business Travel, to celebrate this under-recognized segment of travelers. Business travelers take 514 million trips every year on behalf of their companies; that's 2 million trips every weekday. Overall, US companies spend $424 billion to send travelers out on the road to make sales calls, serve clients, select vendors, and get business done. The industry represents approximately 3% of the U.S. GDP, about the same as the automotive sector.1
"Business travelers are the unsung heroes of our economy," said Jay Walker, Chairman of Upside Business Travel and Founder of Priceline. "They spend significant portions of their time away from family and friends, logging countless travel miles, navigating unfamiliar cities, and negotiating the important deals that advance American business. For just this one day, we should find a little time to thank our favorite business traveler for all she or he does."
The New Face of Business Travel Study
A new in-depth study, (click here to see full study) containing opinions and insights from a large nationwide sample of 4,576 "do-it-yourself" business travelers was commissioned by Upside Business Travel and released today. DIY business travelers, who make up approximately 50% of today's business travel market, and represent a growing segment of the overall business travel market, are those who lack access to formal travel resources and make their own plans. The study's complete findings and methodology are available at: http://bit.ly/2F9EcKU
This study seeks to document the new face of DIY business travel by focusing on key factors such as demographic shifts, attitudinal changes, and traveler choices and preferences. Overall, this study found that the makeup, preferences, and patterns of business travelers is on the move – and runs counter to many traditional expectations. Key findings include:
- The days of older men being the dominant DIY business traveler are steadily vanishing.
Business travelers today are younger, about 50% are under 45. Almost half are women, and women travelers are significantly younger than the DIY male business traveler. At the same time, younger women tend to travel less frequently than older men. But when it comes to frequency of business travel, age is not a differentiating factor. Younger travelers, men and women combined, were just as likely to be frequent travelers as older business travelers.
- Business travelers cannot be viewed or served as a homogeneous group.
In addition to shifts in age and gender, travel patterns and preferences vary significantly. So-called "bleisure" travel appeals more to women. 32% of women DIY business travelers want to know about local attractions, restaurants, museums, and bars, compared to 23% of male business travelers. Bleisure travel is also less attractive to higher frequency business travelers.
- Booking site loyalty varies by consumer type
60% of women and 40% of men shop around when booking their travel. Business travelers who take more than 9+ trips a year are much more likely to make their bookings through the same site.
- Customer service value on the rise.
As the business traveler population gets younger, satisfaction with the "status quo" customer service from online travel agencies and travel suppliers is dropping. Older travelers, however, appear quite satisfied with the customer service they receive.
The impact of weather and road traffic are the most commonly cited "pet peeves" among business travelers, more so than airline and hotel issues.
- Some things haven't changed yet.
Desktop still rules the roost as the #1 booking vehicle for business travelers. Mobile technology is gaining traction among business travelers more slowly than among leisure travelers. While some older business travelers still only book on desktop (66%), 53% of DIY business travelers under 45 purchase travel on multiple devices including mobile and tablet.
Price remains the top purchase driver among older travelers (45+), while more frequent travelers want their miles and points more than a deal.
Man On The Moon Voted History's Greatest Business Trip
History's Greatest Business Trips, presented by Hertz, was a bracket-style competition where 32 "business trips" spanning centuries were pitted against each other, head-to-head, starting with 16 brackets. For each bracket, contestants chose the more important trip, which advanced to be paired up with another winner in a subsequent bracket. NBTD organizers tallied the total number of votes that trips received in each bracket and created a "popular consensus" view, all the way down to the popular winner. Individual contestants scored points for every time their choice matched the consensus pick. A perfect score was 186. The winner of History's Greatest Business Trips scored 177 points and has been contacted to claim their $5,000 prize.
The four finalists for History's Greatest Business Trip were Man on the Moon, Magellan circumnavigating the globe, Darwin's visit to The Galapagos, and the Wright Brothers' flight at Kitty Hawk. Man on the Moon squared off with Darwin in the finals before claiming the title of History's Greatest Business Trip.
Today's celebration also includes the introduction of a resolution in the U.S. Congress seeking to designate April 24 annually as National Business Traveler Day. U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia, U.S. Representative Jim Himes of Connecticut's 4th District and U.S. Representative Scott Tipton of Colorado's 3rd District have joined together as original co-sponsors of this resolution to recognize the vital role played by business travel in the American economy.
"These 'road warriors' - women and men, young and old - representing the diversity of the American workforce, sacrifice a lot in terms of time away from family and home, and deserve this recognition. Business travelers contribute significantly to our nation's competitiveness. Their leadership in bringing together business deals and identifying opportunities contributes directly to economic growth and prosperity," said Rep. Himes.
These premier brands and organizations have joined forces to celebrate business travelers and National Business Traveler Day, including Upside Business Travel, United Airlines, XpresSpa, Hertz, Mastercard, Uber for Business, along with 1-800-Flowers.com, 24 Hour Fitness, Audible, BARK, the makers of BarkBox, Blue Bottle Coffee, Global Business Travel Association, Hudson Group, operators of Hudson and Hudson News, iHeartMedia, iPass, JetBlue, Journy, LATAM Airlines, LoungeBuddy, Lyft, The Points Guy, THNKS, and UNTUCKit. The Wall Street Journal serves as NBTD's media partner and Dress for Success is the non-profit partner.
"We were looking for a way to connect with business travelers and send the message that we understand and appreciate all they go through to get business done," says Jonathan Ellenthal, Co-Founder of Upside Business Travel. "National Business Traveler Day is all about making it easy for like-minded brands, ranging from leading travel companies to non-profits serving business travelers, to add their voices and make the message louder and clearer."
"National Business Traveler Day is an exciting opportunity for us to recognize and celebrate our customers who travel for business. We are pleased to host a unique NBTD lounge in Terminal 5 at JFK on April 24 to create an energizing environment for business travelers. The lounge features charging stations, complimentary beverages, and a variety of prizes and giveaways. As an airline and a business, we're always exploring new products and services that make business travelers more comfortable, energized, and productive when they're away from home and the office," said Diane Zaiter, Manager of Business Development for Blue Inc. at JetBlue Airways.
Today, in three major airports across the country, Upside Business Travel, United Airlines, XpresSpa, Hertz, Diet Coke, Mastercard, Uber for Business, and others, will create hands-on experiences for business travelers with custom NBTD lounges at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago (Terminal 2), John F. Kennedy International Airport (Terminal 5), and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Terminal C), equipped with comfortable seating and charging stations, creating an inviting and relaxing space to make business travelers feel important.
Lounge visitors will also have the chance to enter The Business Traveler Dream Sweepstakes and receive instant giveaways from participating companies. NBTD will also be taking over four XpresSpa stores, transforming each location with branded signage, collateral and decorative accents. Select business travelers who are readers of The Wall Street Journal will be treated to complimentary spa services at John F. Kennedy International Airport (Terminal 8), San Francisco International Airport (Terminal 2), Los Angeles International Airport (Terminal 5), and the Westfield World Trade Center location in lower Manhattan.
Prize Winner Announcements
The first winner of the Dream Sweepstakes is being announced today. Sharon K. from Dallas, TX was named the First Prize Winner of The Business Traveler Dream Sweepstakes, pending verification. Sharon owns a business in the Dallas area, and travels approximately 8 times per year for meetings and events. Sharon will receive Free First Class Upgrades for a Year.
There is still time for more business travelers to enter the sweepstakes, as the Grand Prize of "Free First Class Upgrades For 20 Years" ($5,000 a year for 20 years to cover the cost of domestic first class upgrades) is on the table until May 18. Enter for a chance to win and view the complete details here.
For further information on National Business Traveler Day, The New Face of Business Travel report, the Dream Sweepstakes and History's Greatest Business Trips, please visit:
- Business Traveler Dream Sweepstakes Website: NBTDay.com
- The New Face of Business Travel Report: http://bit.ly/2F9EcKU
- History's Greatest Business Trips Website: GreatestBusinessTrips.com
- Official National Business Traveler Day Hashtag: #NBTDay
For media inquiries please contact:
About National Business Traveler Day
National Business Traveler Day (NBTD) is an annual event held on April 24th that celebrates, honors, and recognizes the under-appreciated business traveler. More than 20 leading companies support the inaugural NBTD and will shower business travelers with prizes, giveaways, and upgrades, and participate in live events.
About Upside Business Travel
Upside Business Travel is the first online travel service built just for business travelers, particularly the "do-it-yourself" (DIY) business travelers who can't access special pricing or quality customer service.
Upside uses big data to make buying business travel easier. By showing great prices, the best flight times, and most convenient hotels, Upside lets business travelers select what works best for them, including rental cars and ride-sharing services like Uber. Most importantly, Upside doesn't disappear once the trip is booked. Human customer service provided by trained "Navigators" stays involved every step of the way, and is available on-demand 24x7 through mobile app, phone, or email.
Launched in January 2017, Upside is led by Chairman Jay Walker, the founder of Priceline, and an executive team of travel industry inventors and entrepreneurs. The company recently received Glassdoor's Employees' Choice Award as one of the Top 50 Companies to Work For in America, and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in Stamford, Connecticut.
About The Business Traveler Dream Sweepstakes*
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER. Sweepstakes ends 5/18/18 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States or District of Columbia, age 18 or older (or age of majority) who are employed by, own or are otherwise associated with a business entity and have traveled at least once on a business trip in 2017-2018. First Class Air Domestic Travel Upgrades for One Year paid as $5,000 cash. First Class Domestic Air Travel Upgrades for 20 years paid as $5,000.00 cash a year for 20 years. Visit www.NBTDay.com for Official Rules including sweepstakes periods, eligibility restrictions, prize details, conditions & limitations. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor: The Upside Travel Company, LLC.
About The 32 Greatest Business Trips in History Sweepstakes*
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER. Sweepstakes is open to legal residents of the 50 United States or District of Columbia, age 18 or older (or age of majority) who are employed by, own or are otherwise associated with a business entity and have traveled at least once on a business trip in 2017-2018. Entries must be received by 4/5/18. Visit https://upside.com/blog/greatest-business-trips-rules for Official Rules. Void where prohibited by law. Sponsor: The Upside Travel Company.
1 All statistics from Trends of the GBTA Convention 2017 (Rep.). (2017). Retrieved https://www.amexglobalbusinesstravel.com/the-atlas/trends-gbta-convention-2017/
SOURCE Upside Business Travel