Business travellers turning to web for research

Over a quarter of business travellers use the internet to research trips abroad before going to a travel agent for advice, a survey has found.

The findings of an online snap poll of 150 UK business and leisure travel agents by the technology and GDS specialist Amadeus showed that 27.8% of customers had carried out their own research ahead of making a booking with an agency.

The results follow other recent studies that revealed the browsing habits of leisure travellers were dominated by the research process, with often an average of six sites visited before a booking.

However the Amadeus survey indicated loyalty still has a significant part to play in the business travel market, especially for airlines with frequent flyer programmes.

Over a third of travel agents said the majority of business travellers would continue to book those products rather than the emerging all-business class carriers.

Director of marketing for Amadeus UK & Ireland, Elaine Seeto, said: “Frequent flyer programmes are probably one of the first customer loyalty schemes and look set to remain popular with business travellers.

“Choosing a carrier or alliance with a wide route network is seen as a fast-track route to accumulating frequent flyer benefits for many travellers.

“But with reduced travel budgets, the prospect of travelling business class on a low fare alternative is an attractive proposition – especially if it means avoiding relegation to economy class.”

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