Hotel Guests Love Free Wi-Fi, Don’t Care About Turn-Down Service
Two recent surveys show that wifi is what counts for travelers. A Hotels.com survey found that free wifi is a major factor when choosing a room. And a Trip Advisor survey found that wifi and breakfast included in the rate are the top two amenities guests look for when choosing a room.
Guest loyalty plans were a third factor. Loyalty programs are very important for those who travel 25 times a year or more, according to a Starwood Preferred Guest survey. Nearly three-quarters of these travelers said that they have taken extra trips to maintain their status in such programs. Losing their status scares more of them (65%) than the thought of losing their luggage (12%) or missing a flight (11%). (Source: press releases)
Car Rental and Rail
Business Travel Group Lobbies against Unfair Car Rental Taxes
So-called inhospitality taxes continue to rankle business travelers and the head of the Global Business Travel Association recently testified before a House Judiciary hearing in support of a bill that would end discriminatory taxes on rental cars.
The bill says that excise taxes on car rental consumers are unwarranted and would enforce a permanent halt on any new taxes. Michael McCormick, the GBTA’s executive director and COO, said that such taxes impose a burden on travel services that are more than a general sales tax. Congress has enacted similar protections against such taxes on airlines, trains and buses. (Source: GBTA press release)
Business Travel: Major Economic Driver
Business travel appears poised to continue to grow despite economic uncertainty, according to the latest Business Travel Quarterly Outlook for the United States from the Global Business Travel Association. The report found that business travel was stronger than expected last year, and that growth should continue.
- Trip volume was up 3.1%; travel spending was up 8.3% for the quarter.
- For the year, total person trips will hit 445 million; total spending will hit $252 billion, 2.1% and 7.6% increases, respectively
- The GBTA is forecasting that business travel spending will increase 4.6% this year, although person-trips will decline by .8%.
- Prices will increase more slowly this year than last year. Travel price inflation should be 2.2% in 2012, compared to 4.3% last year.