Time-poor, experience-hungry, bleisure-minded travellers want trustworthy, authentic, reliable information that helps them turn their travel experiences into moments of productivity and pleasure.
Now, more than ever, it is therefore critical for travel consultants to understand the largely untapped and dynamic destination services marketplace, which Amadeus refers to as Destination X in its latest whitepaper, Get Ready for Destination X.
As part of its research, Amadeus surveyed both business and leisure travellers to identify the services and content they require in order to make their travel experiences seamless and truly “stress-free.”
When asked which destination services they valued most, it seems that business and leisure travellers share similar views. However, Amadeus also discovered some interesting differences between business travellers and leisure travellers.
1. Who books more ancillary services in Destination X?
Business travellers and leisure travellers tend to book the same number of ancillary destination services with most saying they book between one and two ancillary services per trip.
Interestingly, the percentage of business travellers booking this amount of services was slightly higher (4%) than those who did so for purely leisure trips.
For those typically booking three or more ancillary destination services, 34% say they do so primarily for leisure trips, while around 10% book the same amount for a business trip.
Conversely, 34% report they do not book any ancillary destination services on their business trips, while only 14% of leisure travellers claim to book none.
Does this mean business travellers aren’t interested in more destination services? Maybe. Or perhaps these busy professionals just don’t have sufficient time to explore what’s nearby and quickly book an ancillary service that increases both their overall productivity and enjoyment.
2. Holidaymakers value experiences most of all
For leisure goers, it’s not surprising that they cherish in-destination experiences more than actually getting from A to B in Destination X. There are, however, striking differences evident in how business and leisure travellers rank the importance of logistical versus the more experiential types of ancillary destination services.
3. Flight compensation soars
73% of respondents in the Amadeus survey say flight compensation services are important/very important to their business travel experience, ranking it first in the list of possible destination service categories.
Interestingly, around 81% of our survey takers give it the same level of importance for their leisure travels, placing flight compensation a close second in destination service priorities for leisure travellers.
Evidently, tracking down compensation benefits is important to both groups, but those on a holiday may feel they have more at stake.
4. Taxi & Transfer: Getting to versus being there?
The Amadeus survey shows similar numbers of travellers feel pre-booked and last-minute access to taxi & transfer services are important/very important.
For leisure travel, the importance of taxi & transfer is slightly less important than more experiential ancillary destination service categories: ‘Attractions & Amenities’, ‘Great Dining’, and ‘Tour, Concert & Activities’.
This finding may reflect a greater reliance by leisure travellers on either rental car or public transportation options to get around.
5. Eating well matters to everyone
Three-quarters of our survey respondents think access to great dining services is important/very important on leisure trips. Although the percentage of travellers who place the same importance on dining for business travel is lower (59%), finding a good restaurant clearly still matters when traveling for work.
Connecting more travellers with memorable local cuisine for either business or leisure is key to consistently increasing overall trip satisfaction and retaining their loyalty.
6. Seeing the sights comes out on top
The Amadeus survey revealed that 82% of travellers, when not traveling primarily for work, prioritise seeing local attractions and amenities over any other destination service. For business-oriented trips, only 55% of travellers said it was important/very important to their overall experience. Tours, concerts, and activities ranked lower, with almost 40% finding them important/very important compared to almost 75% saying the same for their leisure travels.
Enhancing knowledge at the right moment in the journey could play a role in further opening up both of these service categories for all travellers.
7. Airport/rail lounge access is becoming a factor
As travellers spend more time at airports and rail stations, finding a relaxing haven to catch up on emails, hold discussions or simply take a break in the midst of their trip is paramount for a significant number of travellers. Although slightly higher when it comes to business travels (61%) than leisure holidays (59%), the numbers are close, suggesting that despite different travel purposes, there’s a crossover of traveller needs when it comes to lounge services: the business traveller winds down from tough negotiations, while the holidaymaker scans work emails to reduce the pile-up when back at the office.
8. Parking is of increasing value to all travellers
More than a third of the travellers in the Amadeus survey say pre-booked and last-minute access to local parking services is important/very important for business as well as leisure trips. Quickly and easily solving parking problems adds value to the overall travel experience by reducing stress and frustration on travel day.
“Nowadays a traveller is simply someone who leaves his or her comfort zone and goes to a destination that he or she may or may not know. Whether this person’s travel is technically business or leisure – it does not really matter. Travel providers still need to service them in the best ‘bleisure’ way they can,” concludes Michael Bayle Executive Vice President for Mobile, Amadeus.