PHOENIX, March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Life for road warriors can be difficult, as frequent business travel can arouse feelings of guilt in even the most enthusiastic traveler, according to a recent survey from Best Western International and Wakefield Research.
Sixty-two (62) percent of surveyed business travelers indicated they feel guilty while traveling for business and more than two-of-every-three guilty business travelers said they experience remorse about being away from loved ones.
While work travel leads to guilt for many, these travelers are assuaging those feelings by cashing in their loyalty points for future travel with family and friends. In fact, 67 percent of business travelers collecting loyalty points have cashed in travel points in the past year. One out of four (24 percent) of those travelers splurged on a romantic getaway, while nearly half of those travelers (47 percent) who are parents, treated the family to a vacation using loyalty points.
"As someone who's on the road for more than 150 nights each year, I recognize the importance of feeling that I'm working towards spending quality time with my family through strong loyalty programs and a hospitality experience that makes each trip worth it," said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing and sales for Best Western International. "We're committed to making Best Western Rewards one of the most generous rewards programs and ensuring business travelers are able to earn free nights faster to enjoy future travel experiences with family and friends."
Additional highlights from Best Western's recent business travel survey include:
Missing family events is tough. The biggest issue for those who indicated they experience guilt is missing special events at home (42 percent of those surveyed), from birthdays to anniversaries.
Healthy habits are hard to stick to. Thirty-five percent of business travelers feel guilty about eating unhealthy or not getting enough exercise while traveling for work.
Business travel has its rewards. Seeing new places is the thing business travelers enjoy most about traveling for work followed by meeting new people. The same cannot be said for the food. Fewer than one in 10 (9 percent) travelers believes experiencing new food and restaurants is the the most enjoyable or rewarding part of a business trip.
Business travelers cannot do without certain amenities. High-speed Internet is the most important hotel amenity with 71 percent of travelers saying it is most important, followed by breakfast (51 percent).
Business travelers are savvy with loyalty programs. Almost 40 percent of those surveyed belong to three or more travel loyalty programs.
Best Western is also looking to help turn guilty travelers into travel heroes with its "Be a Travel Hero" Facebook promotion this spring. The promotion rewards business travel heroes for their time on the road away from friends and family, encouraging Best Western Rewards members to build a virtual vacation on Facebook for their family and friends for a chance to win a grand prize dream vacation. Other great prizes for participants include Best Western Travel Cards and MasterCard Gift Cards up to $500 in value, Avis rental car vouchers and AAA/CAA memberships.
"While several hotel brands have in recent years decreased earned points per night or increased free stay point redemption levels, we have always done what's best for our Rewards members and not adjusted point levels," said Tammy Lucas, managing director, marketing programs at Best Western. "We continue to look for innovative ways to reward the hundreds of thousands of nightly guests so that each can feel like a superhero for their family when on the road."
Survey Methodology The Best Western Business Travel Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 500 U.S. business travelers between February 6th and February 9th, 2012, using an email invitation and an online survey. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
ABOUT BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL, INC. Best Western International, Inc., headquartered in Phoenix, Ariz., is a privately held hotel brand made up of more than 4,200* BEST WESTERN®, BEST WESTERN PLUS® and BEST WESTERN PREMIER® hotels in more than 100* countries and territories worldwide. Now celebrating 66 years of hospitality, Best Western welcomes hundreds of thousands of guests nightly. Best Western provides its hoteliers with global operational, sales, marketing and promotional support, and online and mobile booking capabilities. More than 13 million travelers are members of the brand's award-winning loyalty program Best Western Rewards®, one of the few programs in which members earn points that never expire and can redeem at any Best Western hotel worldwide. The brand's partnerships with AAA/CAA, racecar driver Michael Waltrip, and Harley-Davidson® provide travelers with exciting ways to interact with the brand. Best Western in 2011 was named AAA's and CAA's Hotel Partner of the Year and bestwestern.com was named the 2011 Compuware Best of the Web Gold award winner. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit bestwestern.com.