Alexandria, VA: Nearly half (48 percent) of all U.S. business travelers have used an extended stay accommodation in the past 12 months when traveling internationally for business, according to new research from the GBTA Foundation, the education and research arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).
The study, Extended Stay Accommodations: Awareness, Supply and Demand, produced in partnership with WWStay, also revealed interesting differences across age groups when it comes to extended stay accommodations. Millennials (18-34) use extended stay accommodations more than any other group, with 72 percent staying at one for international business travel in the past year.
Only 48 percent of generation Xers (35-54) and an even smaller 26 percent of baby boomers (55+) used an extended stay accommodation during the same time period.
In addition, 60 percent of business travelers who use extended stay accommodations book it themselves with many of that group booking through an online travel site (41 percent) or directly on the extended stay website (38 percent). Booking outside of a company tool could potentially mean the traveler is not compliant with company travel policy. More importantly, the company may not be able to locate their traveler if an emergency occurs.
Preferences & Challenges
The top reasons business travelers said they prefer extended stay accommodations are fully equipped kitchens (45 percent), amenities (40 percent) and the residential feel (36 percent). However many U.S.-based international business travelers note that they have challenges booking their own extended stay accommodations with minimum stay requirements (29 percent), limited number of accommodations (21 percent) and lack of reviews from previous guests (20 percent) topping the list of woes.
“This study showed a clear demand for extended stay accommodations,” said Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation Vice President of Research. “To ensure demand continues to increase, companies that provide extended stay accommodations should address the challenges noted by becoming more flexible with minimum stay requirements, providing an up-to-date website listing amenities and guest reviews and increasing the supply of extended stay accommodations available.”
An overwhelming majority of business travelers (91 percent) are very satisfied or satisfied with their lodging experience on their last international trip of 5 or more days regardless of what type of lodging was used. Major differences are revealed however, when looking at satisfaction levels by type of extended stay accommodation, with much higher satisfaction levels at extended stay hotels (94 percent) and corporate furnished accommodations (87 percent) compared to accommodation rentals (74 percent).
“International extended lodging, especially in the form of corporate furnished apartments are really the final frontier in business lodging,” said WWStay CEO Rajeev Goswami. “Travelers are ‘doing their own thing’ and getting frustrated largely because they and their companies aren’t aware a solution exists to search, book and track thousands of furnished apartments around the world. We believe this sector represents a huge opportunity for multi-national corporate travel managers to lean in and take control of this mostly unmanaged lodging channel, whilst providing better traveler service, cost control and duty of care compliance.”
This study is based on an online survey of 1,000 U.S. based international business travelers who traveled internationally for business during the past 12 months. Fielding took pace from August 25 – September 1 through a third party.
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