Business travelers more likely to opt for luxury accommodations

Monday, September 23, 2013

Business travelers more likely to opt for luxury accommodations

As the U.S. continues its slow climb out of the Great Recession, improved economic conditions have begun to show themselves in a number of different ways. Whether it involves people going out to eat more often or making bigger purchases, it's clear that consumers are increasingly likely to spend, and that trend extends to business travel. A recent study conducted by the industry analysts at Travel Leaders Group, business travelers are growing more willing to splurge on luxury accommodations and transportation. 

Not all traveling in luxury
Based on interviews with nearly 950 travel agents, the findings revealed that there has been a 3.5 percent increase in the number of people who are booking upscale lodging offerings. Additionally, there was 4.6 percent increase in the number of agents who see about 11 percent of their customers booking first or business-class seats on flights. While this may be indicative of a shifting trend, researchers say that the majority of people responsible for such purchases are executives.

"My perception is that, no, companies are still cracking down on travel spending," analyst Sean Paraham told the Los Angeles Times. "Sometimes executives are given bandwidth to fly in first class but I don't see that in the general population."

The results certainly back up that assertion. Researchers found that about 52 percent of business travelers cited company policy for why they flew in coach, which was followed closely by cost at 43.1 percent. 

A greater focus on luxury
Although these findings are focused largely on business travelers, they are indicative of the fact that unique luxury travel opportunities have begun to spring up around the globe. For instance, travel company Intrav recently announced that it would begin offering multi-country luxury trips aboard its jets to the tune of more than $100,000, according to NBC News. While this takes things to the extreme, it is indicative of the growing trend.

On a smaller scale, business travelers can add some luxury to their stays by opting for serviced apartments. Unlike traditional hotel rooms, serviced apartments often offer guests more room as well as many furnishings they're likely to find at home such a kitchen with plenty of amenities and comfortable lodging and sleeping arrangements.