Accor has revealed the findings of its Accor Asia Pacific Business Traveller Research 2011, which seeks to better understand the travel and behavioural preferences of business travellers based in Asia Pacific. The survey interviewed over 10,000 respondents who made business trips in the first half of this year. Based on data collected, Singapore (39%) and Hong Kong (38%) can expect to be the 2 most frequented destinations by business travellers for the second half of 2011. Both China (29%) and Thailand (29%) were ranked joint third.
In terms of destinations most frequently travelled to during the first half of the year, both Singapore and Hong Kong figure again, this time as joint firsts. 38% of respondents cited the two cities as places that they have
travelled for business in H1 2011, reinforcing these two key cities as business gateways in Asia. Thailand (29%) marginally beat China (28%) to third (29%) on inbound business trips made in the first half of 2011.
In terms of country centric data, besides Singapore and Hong Kong, the other country in the Top 3 for the key Asia markets tended to be the closest geographical neighbor (eg. Australia for New Zealand business travellers and vice versa).
In terms of outbound travel, Asia Pacific based business travellers surveyed made an average of 6.3 trips in the first half of the year and this volume is anticipated to continue for the second half of the year (6.2 trips).
Executives from China (8.7 trips), India (7.3 trips), Singapore (7.1 trips) and Hong Kong SAR (6.8 trips) were the most frequent travellers in the first half of 2011. Moving into the second half of the year, business travellers from these countries still top the list, with only Singapore and India swapping positions as second and third.
Given the geographical size of some of the countries in our sample, some business travel took place within national borders. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Australia (34%), New Zealand (26%) and China (25%) had the highest incidence of domestic only business travel.
Location is 'King' (50%) in hotel choice for business travellers across all regions. Price competitiveness, previous positive hotel experience and hotel brand also figure strongly in the list. The Chinese are the only business travellers who have cited loyalty programmes as one of the 3 key influencers affecting hotel choice (Second highest factor after location) .
Budget wise, business travellers in Asia Pacific have an average budget of US$121. Business travellers from Australia have the highest budget at US$158, second is Singapore (US$134) followed closely by Hong Kong (US$132).
The Rise of the Savvy Business Traveller
In terms of method for making bookings, online has dominated the reservation method with hotel branded websites (57%) and third party online agents (26%). The main reason for online bookings is cited as convenience (67%), the possibility of special offers (63%), instant confirmation (62%), ability to see the hotels' facilities (56%) and easier management of the booking process (52%). An interesting observation is that business travellers from India (62%), Indonesia (56%) and Singapore (53%) believe that hotel branded websites provide the most competitive rates, whereas New Zealanders (52%), Australia (50%) and Thailand (45%) believe that independent online travel sites are the most competitive.
The research also uncovered that 61% of business executives are more likely to choose a hotel that is more environmentally conscious and 59% are willing to pay a 10% premium (across all markets) to stay with a hotel with a superior environmental commitment to a similar standard hotel in the same location. This points to the growing environmental consciousness of executives, possibly brought about by the awareness of the carbon footprint contributed by business travel. It is however female business travellers who are more inclined to be enviornmentally conscious than the males (Female 66% to Male 60% in choosing a hotel above others, simply because it is more environmentally conscious).