Travel buyers feel that traveller satisfaction and well-being is the second most important travel programme priority after duty of care, according to a recent BCD Travel survey of 118 travel buyers worldwide, with 92% of survey respondents listing the topic as extremely or very important.
Despite this emphasis, only 62% of the travel buyers surveyed said their companies provide traveller well-being support and only 14% said their companies plan to increase their budget for traveller well-being in 2022.
BCD previously also conducted a well-being survey of 875 business travellers in February. The surveys reveal similarities and differences in buyer and traveller sentiment:
- Awareness of well-being measures to support business travellers varies. While 62% of travel buyers are aware of offerings within their company, among travellers this figure is lower (51%).
- Both travel buyers and travellers ranked convenient hotel location (73% and 58% respectively), direct flights (71% and 70%) and business class for longhaul flights (57% and 54%) among the top five policy options to improve traveller well-being.
- Travel buyers also rated freedom to decide to travel or not (55%) and a simple trip approval process (55%) as important policy options that contribute to traveller well-being. Neither made the top five among business travellers, who instead were more appreciative of aeroplane seat selection (59%) and fast-track security programmes (58%).
- While 43% of buyers offer sustainable travel choices for a better traveller experience, only 20% of surveyed travellers feel this contributes to their well-being.
- Well-being support showed the largest discrepancy between buyer and traveller sentiment. Travel buyers rated mental support measures (training in stress management, mental health counselling, and mental health support) as the most important. Travellers instead care more about physical well-being measures (restaurant recommendations, nutrition, sleep and recovery advice, and gym membership when travelling).
- In terms of work-life balance support, travel buyers placed more value on the ability to work from home before or after a trip (64%) than did travellers (48%), though this option was highly ranked by both audiences along with allowing work from any location and bleisure. Furthermore, travellers are more interested in extra time off to compensate for business travel out of working hours (53% vs 20% for travel buyers), allowing a partner to accompany them (50% vs 19% for travel buyers) and time off after long trips (48% vs 7%).
Travel buyers can address the differences above by increasing traveller awareness of well-being programs and aligning policies and well-being measures with traveller values and needs.
“This survey reveals a significant gap between well-being supply and demand, as well as differing views on which measures most support traveller well-being,” said Mike Janssen, global chief operating officer and chief commercial officer for BCD Travel.
“Travel buyers should align their policies to what their travellers value and need. At the same time, they may also need to put more time and effort in clearly communicating the benefits of mental support, which is currently valued less than physical support.”
For the complete survey results, please click here.