Business Travel Trends

Travel Managers Report More Control Over Hotel Budgets Than in Prior Years

GBTA Research Reveals Insight into Hotel Policies and Programs

Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) A new report issued today by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the voice of the global business travel industry, evaluates corporate hotel policies and programs across the United States and explores how much control corporate travel managers have over their employees’ hotel spending. 

The study found that more than half (58%) of travel managers feel they have more control over their company’s hotel policy than they did a few years ago. When it comes to hotel programs, corporate travel managers view their primary responsibilities as:

-Driving savings / controlling costs (70%)

-Ensuring travelers are using preferred suppliers (54%)

-Motivating travel behavior rather than mandating policy (41%)

-Driving compliance (39%)

“Travel managers are constantly looking for ways to manage the corporate budget strategically while ensuring their travelers are comfortable, secure and productive while on the road. This research provides a comprehensive tool that travel managers can use to deal with a complex area of spending and benchmark their corporate policies against others in the industry,” said Joseph Bates, vice president of research at GBTA. 

A vast majority of corporate travel managers surveyed (91%) indicated their company had a preferred hotel program in place. The average corporate preferred hotel program contains 280 hotel properties that employees can choose from, with individual properties representing 69% of hotel agreements and chain-wide agreements making up 31%.

When corporate travel managers are deciding which hotels to sign as preferred providers, location of hotel (85%) and negotiated discounts (82%) are taken into consideration most often. More than half (53%) of those surveyed also take the safety and security of a property into consideration. 

Amenities that travel managers consider when choosing a mid-price hotel for their employees include: 

-Free Wi-Fi (98%)

-Free breakfast (83%)

-On-site parking (76%)

-Airport shuttle (59%)

-Fitness facilities (56%)

-Business center (47%)

“The insights into corporate hotel policies and programs are invaluable,” said Patrick Pacious, chief operating officer for Choice Hotels International, the corporate sponsor of this study. “By better understanding corporate travel management and purchase trends, we can continue to develop programs that are specifically designed to meet the needs of modern-day business travelers and ensure they remain productive while on the road.” 

An overview of the study will be presented in a complimentary GBTA Webinar: Selecting Preferred Hotels: What's Most Important? The webinar will be Thursday, March 20 at 2 p.m. EDT. For more information, visit  

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