Traveler wellbeing tops priorities for corporate travel programs behind duty-of-care, according to recent BCD Travel survey

Despite emphasis, gaps remain between travel policies and traveler wellbeing needs

UTRECHT, The Netherlands, May 25, 2022 – Travel buyers feel that traveler satisfaction and wellbeing is the second most important travel program priority after duty of care, according to a recent BCD Travel survey in March 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 traveler wellbeing support and only 14% said their companies plan to increase budget for traveler wellbeing in 2022.

BCD previously also conducted a wellbeing survey of 875 business travelers in February. The surveys reveal similarities and differences in buyer and traveler sentiment:

  • Awareness of wellbeing measures to support business travelers varies. While 62% of travel buyers are aware of offerings within their company, among travelers this figure is lower (51%).
  • Both travel buyers and travelers ranked convenient hotel location (73% and 58% respectively), direct flights (71% and 70%) and business class for long-haul flights (57% and 54%) among the top five policy options to improve traveler wellbeing.
  • 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 traveler wellbeing. Neither made the top five among business travelers, who instead were more appreciative of airplane seat selection (59%) and fast-track security programs (58%).
  • While 43% of buyers offer sustainable travel choices for a better traveler experience, only 20% of surveyed travelers feel this contributes to their wellbeing.
  • Wellbeing support showed the largest discrepancy between buyer and traveler sentiment. Travel buyers rated mental support measures (training in stress management, mental health counseling, and mental health support) as most important. Travelers instead care more about physical wellbeing measures (restaurant recommendations, nutrition, sleep and recovery advice, and gym membership when traveling).
  • 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 travelers (48%), though this option was highly ranked by both audiences along with allowing work from any location and bleisure. Furthermore, travelers 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 (50% vs 19% for travel buyers) and time off after long trips (48% vs 7%).

Travel buyers can address the differences above by increasing traveler awareness of wellbeing programs and aligning policies and wellbeing measures with traveler values and needs. Some tips to get started:

  • Survey travelers to find out what they think and get the insights to make policy changes to better meet travelers’ needs.
  • Use traveler engagement to create awareness, influence behavior and increase satisfaction.
  • Communicate with travelers so they feel confident about their health, safety and wellbeing while on the road. TripSource Messaging ensures travelers stay informed and engaged with risk alerts, flight alerts, emergency response notifications, policy information and trip reminders.

“This survey reveals a significant gap between wellbeing supply and demand, as well as differing views on which measures most support traveler wellbeing,” said Mike Janssen, Global Chief Operating Officer and Chief Commercial Officer for BCD Travel. “Travel buyers should align their policies to what their travelers 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.

About BCD Travel

BCD Travel helps companies make the most of what they spend on travel. We give travelers innovative tools that keep them safe and productive, and help them make good choices on the road. We partner with travel and procurement leaders to simplify the complexities of business travel, drive savings and satisfaction, and move whole companies toward their goals. In short, we help our clients travel smart and achieve more. We make this happen in 109 countries with a global client retention rate of 98%, the highest in the industry. For more information, visit www.bcdtravel.com.

About BCD Group

BCD Group is a market leader in the travel industry. The privately-owned company was founded in 1975 by John Fentener van Vlissingen and consists of BCD Travel (global corporate travel management and its subsidiary BCD Meetings & Events, global meetings and events agency), Park ‘N Fly (off-airport parking) and Airtrade (consolidation and fulfillment). For more information, visit www.bcdgroup.com.