Hoping to get a better grip on the large and fast-growing population of business travellers, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and Concur released a study this week that segments the population into five types of travellers, based on their goals, characteristics, technology usage and demographics:
goes into detail explaining the characteristics of each type of traveller. But
what I found most interesting is that, after spending the last 25 years travelling
on business, I could see a little of myself in every single category, and I
remember some of the lessons I’d learned at various stages of my career.
Where do you fit in?
Average of 12 trips per year; 88% are older
operators” cruise through business trips relatively unruffled, even under stressful
circumstances. They enjoy business trips, value the importance of face-to-face
meetings, have learned the rules of the road and don’t let the occasional bump
ruin a trip. While receptive to new technology, one of their biggest gripes is getting
tripped up by poor, complicated or expensive internet connections that hinder
communication with family or the office. At least we seem to be winning the
war against free
Average 15 trips per year; 74% are older than
travel has a downside, so in this category of super frequent travellers you’ll
find a lot of burnt-out business travellers who take most of their trips by car,
don’t think that face-to-face meetings are important and see business trips as
a hassle. It’s a sad lot, but I’ve been there. The reason I quit one of my
first jobs (as a management consultant) was because I travelled too much and had
a very unhealthy work-life balance. Since there were few positions at my
company that offered lighter travel schedules, I made the decision to resign — which
was probably one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made because it ironically
led to a more fulfilling career writing about business travel.
Average of 11 trips per year; 89% are
less than 55 years old
This group travels less frequently than the others, so business trips are more
disruptive to their routine. They enjoy travel, but their lack of experience on
the road makes them more anxious and uncertain. I hear frequently from this
type of traveller -- they are typically the ones that complain loudest about
the “hassle factor” of airport
security, the occasional surly flight attendant or a noisy hotel room.
After a few more years on the road, they will adopt the more accepting view of
the veteran traveller.
Average of 13 trips per year; 91% are less than
category loves to travel for work and looks to technology to increase productivity
and stay in touch with friends and family. They embrace new devices like tablets,
and many say that videoconferencing has actually reduced the number of trips they take.
wi-fi has completely changed the way I travel on business, and there are a few
worth paying to improve comfort or
productivity while in the air.
The new recruits
Average 14 trips per year; 98% are less than 54
This group, most likely travelling for training and development, prizes seeing new destinations more than getting work done. Since they are so early in their careers, sticking
to a budget, following corporate travel policies and filing expense reports are
relatively new concepts.
bucks remind me of my past training boondoggles to New York, London and San
Francisco, where the lure of the nightlife frequently affected my business
performance the following day. Eventually, they’ll learn that the reason they
are there in the first place is to work.
of business traveller are you? Leave a comment on our Facebook page. If you
aren’t a business traveller, what type of traveller do you think you’d be?
Chris McGinnis is the business travel columnist for BBC Travel