Continued strength in business travel

Look for continued strength in business travel during the second half of 2011.

The good news comes from Accor, and is based on a survey of some 10,000 travellers who made business trips during the first six months of 2011.

Singapore and Hong Kong can expect to be the two most frequented destinations by business travellers during the balance of the year. Thailand and China ranked third.

Asia Pacific-based travellers who took part in the survey made an average of 6.3 trips in the first half of the year. The volume is expected to continue in the second half with an average 6.2 trips. Most frequent travellers – executives from China (8.7) trips; India (7.3 trips); Singapore (7.1 trips); and Hong Kong (6.8 trips).

Business travellers from these countries still top the list during the next few months, with only Singapore and India swapping positions.

What’s important to these travellers?

For 50% of respondents, location is king – right across all regions. Price, positive, past hotel experience and hotel brand also rank high on the list.

The Chinese were the only travellers who cited loyality programs as one of the three key influencers.

Average budget was US$121. Business travellers from Australia have the highest budget at US$158, followed by Singapore at US$134 and Hong Kong at $132.

In terms of bookings, online sources dominated reservations, with hotel-branded websites (57%); and third party online agents (26%). Main reason – convenience (67%); possibility of special offers (63%); instant confirmation (62%); ability to see the hotel’s facilities (56%); and easier management of the booking process (52%).

When in comes to competitive rates, business travellers from India (62%), Indonesia (56%) believe that hotel-brand website provide the most competitive rates, while New Zealanders (52%) and Australians (50%) and Thai travellers (45%) believe that online independent travel sites offer the best rates.

Worth Noting: More than 60% of business travellers are more likely to choose a hotel that’s more environmentally conscious and 59% are even prepared to pay a 10% premium. Female business travellers (66%) were prepared to choose a hotel on this basis.

In half of respondents, efficiency was the top reason for making their choice of a hotel.

Business travellers were also asked what room facilities they expect hotels to introduce by 2014 – online check-in/out (50%) and online booking for hotel facilities topped the list.

Accor is the world’s leading hotel operator with more than 4,200 hotels and almost 500,000 rooms in 90 countries. It is also a major player in Asia Pacific, where Accor has 446 hotels in 16 countries – Australia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.

Accor partnered with Cimigo Ltd., a research consultancy in Asia Pacific to conduct the survey.

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