Accor research studies European business travelers

European business travelers’ accommodation preferences, service expectations and habits when staying in a hotel were all areas of focus for Accor’s first European Business Traveler Research, which surveyed members of the company’s Le Club Accorhotels loyalty program from France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The research focused on the notion of “REWARD”: changing Reservation methods; the desire for a good Experience; the need for free Wi-Fi, for Attentive establishments and for Responsible hotels; and all for a completely Digital-savvy business traveler.

Key findings regarding REWARD included the fact that European business travelers reserve their hotels online, mostly directly via the hotel’s website (43%) or through travel websites (33%). As far as experience is concerned, location is their primary concern when choosing a hotel (for 66%), and bedding comfort is considered the most important hotel service (by 71%). Free Wi-Fi is now an absolute prerequisite for one in two business travelers and is the third-most important hotel selection criterion after location and price. European business travelers also want attentive hotels that offer guests a “personalized” service — for example, a dedicated check-in desk for loyalty program members and access to media from their home countries. In addition, the research underscored the fact that European business travelers care about schemes that limit hotel energy and water consumption, as well as waste production. Lastly, the research revealed European business travelers are digital-savvy: 36% have downloaded a hotel booking application, and 49% always or from time to time share their opinions on social networks.

The research also revealed differences among French, German and British business travelers. As far as online booking is concerned, the British are well ahead of the French and the Germans when reserving directly via the hotel’s website (64% compared with 47% and 30%, respectively). The Germans prefer to book via a travel website (48%).

Accor commissioned ORC International to conduct the survey. Responders had to have traveled for business at least once in the first half of 2012.