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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Women & Men Travel Differently
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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Women & Men Travel Differently - Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: Women & Men Travel Differently

Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: Women & Men Travel Differently

Recent studies reveal that women and men travel differently for vacations and for business, something many of us may have known intuitively. But travel preferences and habits go beyond attitudes and priorities: they have meaningful financial impact on businesses who pay for travel, and on firms who profit from it, because women save their companies money in travel expenses and have more influence in household spending.

Carlson Wagonlit Travel examined 6.4 million bookings in 2014, representing 1.8 million people (30% of whom were women), finding that on average, women book flights nearly two days farther in advance then men, spending a resulting 2% less per flight. For the firm booking only a few flights per year, this difference may seem insignificant, but savings add up quickly when companies travel more frequently. While gender is clearly a factor in advance booking time, it is not the only one. Meaningful differences were found in age (older travelers book more in advance) and travel frequency (road warriors wait longer before booking). This suggests that the ideal business traveler, from a cost perspective, is an older woman who travels only once or twice per year, and while it’s unreasonable (not to mention illegal) to make hiring decisions this way, an understanding of the trends can at least guide changes to booking habits in frequently traveling firms.

A CNBC story reports that women name packing as their first concern, are generally more “stressed and nervous” about travel than men, and place a higher priority on taking care of matters at home than men. Each of these contributes to an overall different profile for the woman business traveler. As nervousness can be tied to uncertainty, travel industry managers can cater to the woman traveler by addressing areas of uncertainty in order to attract more bookings.

“Hotels are working overtime to accommodate the needs of one of the fastest growing demographics in the travel industry: businesswomen,” reports CNN. According to the article, women are approaching 50% of the business travel population, and women make 85% of household purchasing decisions. The numbers suggest that a positive experience for the woman business traveler now can mean repeat business not only for work-related travel, but for family travel as well. By addressing the specific areas of stress for the woman traveler, such as “safety and comfort,” hotels can put women more at ease. One global hotel chain has introduced a service that stocks “everything a traveler might have forgotten to pack,” offering them for loan at no charge or purchase at retail prices, targeting the packing stress all travelers—not only women—sometimes feel.

Understanding the needs and habits of their clientele is one strategy that gives service providers in the travel industry an advantage over the competition, but it can also mean a better experience for a company’s employees who must travel frequently, and it can save these same firms money as well. How closely is your firm paying attention to the differences in the way men and women travel?

Reference Links:
Carlson Wagonlit Travel (with downloadable whitepaper): http://www.carlsonwagonlit.com/content/cwt/global/en/insights/report/20160411-gender-differences-in-booking-business-travel.html
CNBC: http://www.cnbc.com/id/48433282
CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/06/travel/business-travel-women-hotels/

 

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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Women & Men Travel Differently - Executive Leadership Articles

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