Business travellers employed by smaller companies (SMEs) feel they pay more for travel and that it is more difficult and time-consuming to book affordable trips, according to a new survey by Holiday Inn.
The Holiday Inn Small Business Traveller Study conducted by Kelton Global found that SME owners and employees value travel for face-to-face meetings, with more than 75 per cent saying they get more out of in-person client time than employees at larger companies.
However, despite the perceived benefits, SMEs feel that travel can be more challenging for them than their larger counterparts.
Almost a third feel they are not treated as well as big companies when it comes to business travel, yet while they are price conscious, more than half of small business employees do not have a travel policy, instead simply choosing the most cost-effective option to help save money and set a good example for the people they work with.
The cost in time, however, is high. On average, SMEs take as many as nine different steps just to book a hotel, and those that visit hotel websites will do so an average of three times before they pick the right place.
While 98 per cent of small business travellers believe there are perks to be had from their business trips, they often have to deal with a lot of planning and stress when booking. According to the survey, the top pain point for business trips is the stress of travel itself (56 per cent).
The study was released to coincide with Holiday Inn promoting its new Inn Business offer which offers elite status in IHG Rewards Club during their first year of membership following their first night’s stay at a Holiday Inn hotel, as well as complimentary room upgrades, priority check-in and late check-out, and the ability to earn rewards nights faster.
The Holiday Inn Small Business Travel Study was conducted between March 23 and April 8, 2016, among 1,005 small business travellers ages 25-65, using an e-mail invitation and an online survey.