Posts Tagged ‘survey’

Survey: Companies prepared to spend more on business travel

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Survey: Companies prepared to spend more on business travel

By Charisse Jones, USA TODAY

Updated 5/10/2011 12:12 PM |

Companies are prepared to spend more to send people on the road for business, newly released survey findings indicate.

  • Jets at Ronald Reagan International outside of Washington.

By Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images

Jets at Ronald Reagan International outside of Washington.

The GetThere survey of corporate travel managers at top businesses and organizations around the globe finds that 61% of those who responded expect their travel spending to grow from 1% to 10% this year over last. That’s a big bump compared with 2010, when roughly a third of managers reported only a slight increase in their travel budgets over 2009.

The increased budgets reflect both a recognition that travel is necessary to make money, the survey’s sponsors say, and that it’s going to cost more to do it, given the rise in airfares and hotel room rates.

“They do see they have to travel more to grow their business,” says Suzanne Neufang, general manager of GetThere, an online corporate booking tool used by companies around the world that is part of Sabre Travel Network. “But they also see costs are going up — fares and room rates — and so their budgets have to keep up.”

Business travel was one of the first casualties of the recession. Companies slashed budgets and grounded workers to survive the downturn. But GetThere’s findings mirror estimates earlier this year by the Global Business Travel Association that indicated corporate travel has bounced back. In turn, airlines have steadily boosted ticket prices, including the most expensive fares often bought by corporate trekkers who need to fly at the last minute, or want a seat in a premium cabin.

Fares are continuing to rise to keep up with the cost of more expensive fuel. Meanwhile hotels, which also suffered during the deep travel slump sparked by the economic downturn, are trying to boost revenue by increasing room prices.

Still, the days of the limitless expense account appear to be over. “The focus on savings that came as a result of the recession is still there and still very strong,” Neufang says.

Businesses, for instance, are considering day trips to avoid paying for overnight hotel stays. “For the most part, most companies are back to their travel spending pre-recession. What has changed is they’re trying to get more out of every trip.”

Companies also are picking and choosing which airline fees they’re willing to pay.

The survey finds that while 95% of companies will reimburse workers for their first checked bag, there was a 16% dip in the number of businesses this year that will reimburse the fee for checking a second compared with last year.

By contrast, 20% more companies are reimbursing for use of in-flight Internet, and 13% more businesses will give employees back what they paid for an on-board meal.

“They’re looking to enable travel but still have savings,” Neufang says.

The survey, taken at the end of last year in anticipation of this, received responses from more than 60 companies and organizations, most of them based in North America.

Small Businesses More Confident About Long-Term Success: Report

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011


Small Businesses More Confident About Long-Term Success: Report

By: Nathan Eddy
Article Rating:starstarstarstarstar


A survey indicates that nearly one quarter of owners feel that their marketing materials do not reflect the quality of their products and services.

Small businesses have a positive long-term outlook and an eye on growth and investment, according to the results of the fourth annual FedEx Office “Signs of the Times” national small business survey released by FedEx Office, an operating company of FedEx Corp. The survey found that optimism is on the rise, with 63 percent of owners declaring confidence in their businesses’ long-term success.

By comparison, slightly more than half (54 percent) of respondents in 2010 were confident in the long-term success of their business. With the rising confidence level, decision makers are considering greater investments in their business to support 2011 growth plans, including expanding product and service offerings (44 percent) and hiring additional full-time and part-time staff (26 percent). Marketing and advertising efforts also continue to be a major consideration for budget increases, with more small business owners considering investment in these areas than last year—55 percent versus 42 percent.

“Small businesses are a vital economic driver, and their outlook for 2011 is an indication that the health of this business segment is getting stronger,” said Randy Scarborough, vice president of marketing for FedEx Office. “We are encouraged by the commitment that we’re seeing among small business owners to assertively and strategically invest in their company’s offerings and image in order to grow.”

The 2011 survey also indicated that nearly one quarter (23 percent) of owners feel that their marketing materials do not reflect the quality of their products and services. Moreover, nearly half of respondents believe they do not spend the right amount on marketing and advertising materials, with 24 percent saying they spend too little because of budget cuts and 23 percent indicating they spend too much but cannot find a better deal due to lack of time or knowledge.

This latest Signs of the Times survey also analyzed changes in small businesses’ use of traditional marketing tactics versus expanding online options. Fifty percent of respondents indicated that they have experimented with social media to market their business. In addition, 52 percent plan to improve their company’s online presence, and 45 percent said they will utilize social media and networking Websites to grow their business. In contrast, 53 percent will utilize traditional marketing and advertising materials, and 35 percent will distribute their efforts equally between Web and printed channels.

Age emerged as one of the most differentiating characteristics in this evolving marketing trend. Not only were younger owners (ages 18-34) significantly more likely to consider a budget increase for marketing and advertising this year (72 percent compared with 55 percent of the overall sample), they also showed a stronger preference for Web-based marketing tools.

“While this evolution certainly reflects the growing importance of the Internet in our daily lives, it may come at a cost,” said Scarborough. “In the past decade, businesses looking to reach their core customers flocked to the Internet to break free of the traditional marketing clutter. Yet today it seems that Web marketing may be just as overcrowded, and small businesses may struggle to find their voice. Creative and engaging printed materials can help small businesses better stand out from the crowd and highlight their primary capabilities.”

Holiday travel: 29% will cut trip short or shack up with relatives, poll says

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Holiday travel: 29% will cut trip short or shack up with relatives, poll says

By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

The economy may not keep holiday revelers at home this holiday season, but odds are high that if you are traveling, you”re probably eager to save a buck or two.

A new poll, in fact, says that 29% of holiday travelers say they’ll cut their trip short or even shack up with family and friends to avoid a hotel bill.

* TWITTER: Follow Hotel Check-In
* ALSO ONLINE: 60% use social media to stay in touch from road
* ALSO ONLINE: What’s on your hotel ‘wish list’ – Apple TV? iPad?

Other holiday travel patterns highlighted in AOL Travel’s new poll of 1,001 Internet users who will travel for the holidays this year:

* 40% say the economy is “somewhat” affecting their plans, while 18% believe the economy affected them “very much.”
* 55% say they’ll cut back on expensive activities due to the economy.
* 70% say they’ve had their holiday plans disrupted by airline delays and cancellations with almost 7% never actually making it to their destinations.

Regardless of the money saving strategies that many travelers will deploy this year, travel experts still expect a big holiday travel season this year.

Holiday travel spending is expected to increase by nearly $4 billion this year vs. last year to near pre-recession levels, USA TODAY has reported. Another poll by Maritz Research Hospitality Group says that 28% of Americans plan to travel between Thanksgiving and New Year’s – that’s up from 23% last year. And despite the desire to save money, the Maritz poll said these travelers plan to spend an average of $349, or 41%, more on their holiday travel vs. last year.

The AOL Travel survey was survey conducted by Data Specialists between Nov. 2 and Nov. 5.

Readers: Are you trying to save a few bucks when on the road this holiday season? If so, what’s your strategy?

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