Egencia, an Expedia, Inc. Company

Egencia, an Expedia, Inc. Company

September 16, 2008 09:00 ET

Canadian Business Travellers are "Experience-Hungry" While Americans are Most "Hyper-Connected" and Brits Watch Their Company's Bottom-Line

Egencia unveils the results of the first ever worldwide survey exploring the DNA of today's business traveller

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 16, 2008) - Egencia, an Expedia, Inc. company, today announced the results of its most comprehensive research study into business travel and travellers to date. With over 2,400 respondents across France, Germany, the UK, the US and Canada, the survey compares psychographic and demographic groups to provide an unprecedented view of today's business traveller.

Globally, over two out of three surveyed enjoy business trips and 85 per cent said that travelling is a key reason why they like their current job. On average Canadians trail behind all other countries surveyed for the number of business travel days taken each year, at approximately 14.2 days, compared to the global average at 20.8 days. Business travellers from Germany spent the most out of the office at 22.3 days each year. However, priorities for business travellers are very different than leisure travellers and the research identified six key groups or 'tribes' that unite corporate travellers globally.

Identifying Global Corporate Traveller Tribes:

- The largest group, made up of 39 per cent of those surveyed, is the 'experience-hungry' travellers. These people try to balance and blend business travel with personal interests, scheduling in as much free time as possible so they can explore new destinations. In their briefcase, the experience-hungry traveller is most likely to carry a camera, a city map and, most importantly, a shopping list. Overall, women were more likely to engage in blending their work and personal activities at 41 per cent, over men at 36 per cent. This group was well represented by all countries surveyed, peaking with 44 per cent of French business travellers. While corporate travel now often incorporates personal priorities as well as business, the extent varies between C-suite and junior-level employees. Only 29 per cent of top management are experience hungry compared to 41 per cent of more junior level employees.

- The 'hyper-connected' tribe comprises of 23 per cent of corporate travellers. This group is most often married and although they don't necessarily enjoy travelling for work, they like the opportunity to develop business networks. Top managers (30 per cent) are more likely to fall into this tribe than employees (19 per cent). Not surprisingly this 'hyper-connected' tribe tends to carry a BlackBerry and a WiFi-ready laptop, and they are very focused on their business objectives. At the highest, more than one in four (28 per cent) of US corporate travellers belong to this tribe, in other countries that rate drops, the lowest in Canada (19 per cent).

- The third largest group is the 'cost-conscious' travellers. Making up 14 per cent of travellers, this group is most likely to work for a company with less than 50 employees and they make sure that value for money is the key priority in every business trip. More than in any other country, UK corporate travellers are the most cost-conscious at 17 per cent. The least cost conscious is the French, with only 9 per cent in this tribe.

- The remaining 24 per cent of travellers form three smaller tribes and they are identified as the following: Seven percent make up the home-focused group who enjoy travelling the least, and are likely to fall within the 36 to 45 years old age group. People with children, often young ones, are also more likely to find themselves in this tribe.

- Seasoned travellers (6 per cent) are the most frequent travellers making around 25 business trips a year. For these people, travel is a core part of their work routine and half of them have assistants to help them organize trips.

- Finally, the smallest, yet potentially biggest growing tribe are the green travellers. At just 4 per cent of those surveyed, this group only travel by plane if there is no other option and have frequently considered investing in projects to reduce of carbon emissions to offset their travel.

Commenting on the research results, Jean-Pierre Remy, President of Egencia said, "Today's corporate traveller has more demands placed on them than ever before. As a result, the lines between business and leisure travel are blurring as business travellers are driven by balancing personal and professional needs. Egencia's vast hotel content offers not only important amenities such as free Wi-Fi and enhanced check-in for those hyper-connected or seasoned travellers but also the integration of user-generated content so travellers can find ways to enjoy downtime after work. As a result, we have taken action and improved our offering based on the feedback from our travel managers and travellers."

Canadian business travellers on the move:

The Canadian Experience-Hungry Traveller

Like most business travellers around the world, Canadians are looking to maximize their time away from home and the office, and bridge the gap between work and personal time by blending both worlds.

Today's road warriors are using their off-hours to take pictures of their travels or buy souvenirs (25 per cent) for family as a way to keep in touch. They also engage in other personal activities like working out at the hotel gym and enjoying local restaurants (48 per cent).

Leading the global average, Canadians are 58 per cent more likely to pack a camera on their business trips, compared to the other countries at 49 per cent, and 52 per cent of Canadians will take a local map whereas 17 per cent from Germany take a map.

Weather Obsessed

It could be because of our long winters, but Canadians lead the way in weather research, exceeding the global average with researching the weather at their proposed destination at 72 per cent.

"This survey shows that there are common themes present with business travellers from around the world. In Canada and across the globe, we have mastered the balance between business and personal time while out of the office, using travel to our advantage," said Omar Ahmad, managing director of Egencia Canada. "Egencia recognizes that regional differences are still present, and focuses on meeting the demands of each unique customer."

Survey conclusions:

The vast majority of people enjoy their business travel experience, however, it is clear that needs are changing rapidly as corporate travellers take a more holistic view on what they expect from working away from home. Corporate travellers are curious and eager not just to go through the places they visit but actually enjoy them as much as business needs would allow. The industry as a whole must keep ahead of this behavioral curve to provide the service customers are now looking for.

Egencia™ currently offers a range of award-winning products and services that benefit travel bookers, business travellers and travel managers. It will be using the insights from this research to build on its extensive portfolio of tailor made products and services which help customers maximize their travel experience.

Research methodology

The research was conducted by Strategy One between May and July 2008 across five markets: USA, Canada, France, Germany and England with a sample of 2,400 respondents in total. Of this sample 40 per cent were existing Egencia customers with 60 per cent as random business travellers. For the purposes of this survey, business travellers were defined as people who work for a company, travel at least three times a year for business and slept at least once outside home.

About Egencia, an Expedia, Inc. Company

Egencia is the fifth largest travel management company in the world. As part of Expedia, Inc., (NASDAQ:EXPE), the world's largest travel marketplace, Egencia helps business get ahead by offering the only truly integrated corporate travel service. Egencia's industry expertise and the partnerships the company has built help drive results that matter, delivering meaningful advancements that have a real impact. By combining a powerful offline and online service, Egencia delivers a complete corporate travel offering supported by global market expertise and a best-in-class technology platform.

Egencia and the Egencia logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other logos or product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners.

(c) 2008 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST# 2029030-40, 2083922-50.

Contact Information