Mobility

July 2017

Issue link: http://mobility.worldwideerc.org/i/839989

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T he Global Business Travel Association's GBTA Foundation conducted a study in 2016 in partner- ship with corporate travel accommodation pro- vider WWStay to understand how travel programs approach their need for extended-stay accommoda- tions. This is a follow-up to a 2015 study showing nearly half of U.S. international business travelers have used extended-stay accommodations in the past 12 months, with 72 percent of millennials having used one—more than any other age group. These numbers clearly demonstrate that you need to be thinking about extended stays as an important part of your travel program. WHAT DEFINES AN EXTENDED-STAY BUSINESS TRIP? Just over half (51 percent) of North American travel buyers who responded to the survey said they consider an extended-stay trip as one that falls between five-plus and 10-plus nights, while 15 percent said they define it as 30 nights or more. Almost a quarter of respondents mentioned they did not have a set definition. While there is no set time frame all companies must follow, what is important is that your organi- zation create a definition for what is considered an extended-stay trip. This is the first step in manag- ing this part of your travel program. The definition you set and the needs of your travelers will make it easier to understand who owns this piece and when other departments either take over or can collaborate with your group. CHALLENGES FACED WHEN FULFILLING EXTENDED-STAY ACCOMMODATIONS The most commonly cited challenge among travel buyers when fulfi lling extended-stay accommo- dations was fi nding the right type of lodging for their travelers when the destination was not one they had previously visited. Without the benefi t of established relationships with lodging suppliers and on-the-ground knowledge, the process becomes even more labor- and resource-intensive. Even with those relationships in place, there is an inevitable back-and- forth process with extended-stay accommodations to fi nd the right solution for the traveler that also fi ts within the parameters of the travel program. Travel buyers also fi nd that with extended-stay accommodations in parts of the world that are new to them and that their travelers haven't been to before, it What travel buyers need to know By Monica Sanchez

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