Would you believe 52% say they’ll want to use social networking websites to meet new people while on business trips!
According to the 2011 “Tech Traveler” study* commissioned by iBAHN, the global leader in IP platform-based systems and broadband technologies for the hospitality industry, business travelers are now demanding that their personal needs – not just their business needs – be met by their companies and technology providers while traveling for business.
Bottom line, Tech Travelers don’t want to give up personal engagement and satisfaction while away on business, however they also want to travel smart.
• Travelers who meet the target profile* are interested in using technology to engage in a variety of travel-related activities on future business trips. In fact, two-thirds would like to utilize technology to find out information about local events (67%) or learn about local restaurants and entertainment (65%);
• Other Tech Travelers are more interested in using technology to personalize aspects of their trip. Approximately half would make a spa or restaurant reservation or order specific amenities prior to their arrival at the hotel (55%). Roughly the same proportion might also use their devices to control guest room features such as lighting and temperature (52%);
• Additionally, half of Tech Travelers are interested in creating a personal preference profile they would share with travel service suppliers in order to receive personalized amenities such as bedding, room type, daily newspaper, etc.;
• Over the years, the proportion of Tech Travelers who are interested in using social networking websites to meet new people while on their business trips has increased (from 36% in 2008, to 46% in 2010 and 52% in 2011).
• Tech Travelers have begun to accept smart technologies such as smartphones and iPads or other tablet computers and intend to incorporate them into their future business travel. Roughly six in ten (58%) are likely to use their personal technology to check their flight’s status, while just under half plan to use personal technology devices to review their bill online (48%), make a hotel reservation (45%), or check out of their hotel (45%);
• Three in ten (29%) are ready to bring a tablet computer in place of their laptop, and roughly one-quarter (27%) would likely substitute their laptop for a smartphone that could be docked to a monitor at their hotel;
• Year over year, Tech Travelers have appeared to become less likely to engage in the following activities with their personal smart technology:
- Make a hotel reservation (55% in 2008, 52% in 2010, 45% in 2011);
- Check out of the hotel (53% in 2008, 49% in 2010, 45% in 2011);
- Book an airline flight (50% in 2008, 46% in 2010, 42% in 2011;
- Check-in to the hotel prior to arrival (53% in 2008, 46% in 2010; 40% in 2011)
• Regarding the use of technology-related activities on business trips, three-quarters (74%) like to multitask and can access the Internet while watching TV in a hotel room. Six in ten (62%) bring their MP3 player or iPod, and half (50%) carry downloaded movies to watch on a laptop.
For nearly all categories of technology use, the proportion of travelers who currently own/use the listed technology/devices are much higher than the proportion who intends to own/use the same technology/devices two years into the future. This could stem from a variety of reasons, but is most likely due to the fact that we live in a world in which technology is ever-changing and has an increasingly shorter lifespan.
*NOTE: The term “Tech Travelers,” coined by Ypartnership, whose Insights group conducted the study on emerging trends in Internet, media and technology usage by business travelers, and is widely acknowledged as the preeminent source of market intelligence on emerging business and leisure travel trends, defines this niche market of tech savvy business travelers as those who: Have stayed in commercial lodging for at least four business trips of 75 miles or more away from home during the past 12 months. And are frequent users of any of the latest entertainment, computer, or consumer technology such as smartphones, laptops, tablet computers, DVRs, downloading or streaming video from the Internet, storing digital photos, social networking, iPods, MP3 players, or video game consoles.