Orbitz for Business Year-End Survey Shows Focus on Cost Efficiencies in
Corporate Travel Policies
92% Calling In-Person Meetings as Important to their Work Productivity
CHICAGO, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The big picture for 2008
reveals that cost controls may have been a more significant trend than
policies focused on cutting back corporate travel.
-- Nearly three-fourths -- 71 percent -- of business travelers say they've
traveled more or about the same in 2008 as they did a year ago.
-- An overwhelming majority -- 79 percent -- of travelers say they've felt
pressure to curb their travel expenses during the course of 2008, with
an additional 55 percent having to make further cuts in the past three
These are among the key findings of the Orbitz for Business/Business
Traveler Magazine Quarterly Trend Report, which examines the most prevalent
issues affecting the corporate travel industry today. Orbitz for Business
(http://www.orbitzforbusiness.com), the corporate travel brand of Orbitz
Worldwide (NYSE: OWW), surveyed the corporate travel landscape to identify the
most newsworthy trends that shaped this past year, while also collecting
insights into what some business travelers expect in 2009.
"In 2008, our survey revealed an emerging trend of business travelers
changing their behaviors in light of the recession, traveling differently by
becoming more cost conscious," said Dean Sivley, senior vice president and
COO, Orbitz for Business. "We can expect corporate travel managers to exert
continued pressure on employees with travel policies focused on cost savings,
like booking flights farther in advance, staying in lower class hotels and
renting fuel efficient vehicles."
Looking Back at 2008
Throughout 2008, the Orbitz for Business/Business Traveler Magazine
Quarterly Trend Report indicated a large majority of businesses were
approaching travel more creatively in order to trim associated costs. Key
findings throughout the year pointed to growing numbers of travelers flying in
and out of a business destination the same day, staying at a less
expensive/lower star-rated hotel or sending fewer employees to trade shows and
-- In the fourth quarter 2008, as the U.S. economy experienced ongoing
challenges, a majority (51 percent) of those surveyed say they have
scaled back but are still traveling, while 39 percent say they are
keeping up the pace. Only 6 percent of respondents' companies have
implemented a freeze on travel while 4 percent are traveling more.
-- When asked if their company had experimented with alternatives to
travel in 2008, 50% of respondents said they had tried
videoconferencing. However, an overwhelming majority, 85 percent of
business travelers surveyed say they don't feel videoconferencing is or
would be as productive as an in-person meeting, with just 1% responding
that it is or would be more productive.
-- A 2007 Orbitz for Business study found that 24 percent of business
travelers said they have had to share a hotel room, either as a
practice or on occasion, when traveling on business. One year later,
just 14 percent say they now share hotel rooms with co-workers or
-- Location, location, location -- 56 percent of travelers say the most
important criteria when selecting a hotel for business travel is
location, with 25 percent responding that price is the main driver and
15 percent rating brand as the deciding factor.
In response to airline capacity cuts, many of which have been implemented
in the latter half of 2008, the report revealed the following changes in
-- 47 percent now book further in advance whenever possible
-- 43 percent are now more price conscious and concerned about having to
pay higher airfares
-- 17 percent say their companies have taken measures to discourage
-- 11 percent are choosing to drive to their destination more frequently
rather than fly
A Look Ahead to 2009
Looking ahead to 2009, a majority of business travelers surveyed, 55
percent, say they are planning to travel as much or more than they did in
The report also explored the extent to which professionals feel traveling
to conduct business in-person makes them successful. When asked how important
maintaining travel frequency is to overall productivity and business success,
76% say that it is important, with 16% labeling it as "critical."
A significant storyline in 2008 was the tightening of corporate travel
policies as a means to control or curtail travel expenditures. In fact, some
companies have already implemented new policies for 2009 to account for new
fee structures being rolled out by suppliers.
For example, some airlines are now charging, or plan to charge more for an
aisle or window seat. The Orbitz for Business year-end report found that 34
percent of respondents' employers will not allow such an upgrade as a business
expense. Twenty-four percent say it is allowable, while 42 percent are
Other notable findings in the survey include:
-- 80 percent of respondents said they have had no change to their
company's per diem spending policy in the past six months
-- 31 percent of respondents say they will be required to squeeze in more
work and more meetings per business trip compared to this past year.
The Orbitz for Business/Business Traveler Magazine Trend Report was
conducted online from 8/19/08 through 8/27/08, through a MarketTools survey of
612 Business Traveler Magazine subscribers.
About Orbitz for Business
Orbitz for Business (http://www.orbitzforbusiness.com/) is the corporate
travel brand of Orbitz Worldwide. Orbitz for Business serves over 2,000
corporate customers and more than a million business travelers. Launched in
2002, Orbitz for Business was one of the first full-service managed business
travel programs offered by an online agency. Orbitz for Business includes a
portfolio of business travel products for small to large companies. Its
products include self-managed services for small business, managed travel
services with fulfillment and service support and international capabilities.
About Orbitz Worldwide
Orbitz Worldwide (NYSE: OWW) is a leading global online travel company
that uses innovative technology to enable leisure and business travelers to
research, plan and book a broad range of travel products. Orbitz Worldwide
owns and operates a portfolio of consumer brands that includes Orbitz
(http://www.orbitz.com), CheapTickets (http://www.cheaptickets.com), ebookers
(http://www.ebookers.com), HotelClub (http://www.hotelclub.com), RatesToGo
(http://www.ratestogo.com), the Away Network (http://www.away.com), and
corporate travel brand Orbitz for Business (http://www.orbitzforbusiness.com).
For more information on how your company can partner with Orbitz Worldwide,
About Business Traveler Magazine
With ten editions and a worldwide distribution of over 500,000 copies,
Business Traveler is the world's leading publication geared towards frequent
business travelers. BT offers practical travel resources, destination
features, first-hand reviews, convention city reports and a series of special
supplements, including the annual business-class airline comparison study,
4-Hour guide and this year added First-Timer's Guides to Russia and China.
In addition to BT's monthly features, visitor guides, lifestyle reports
and weekend guides, each issue also includes special reports ranging from
international business-etiquette tips to preventing identity theft and the
growing trend of mixing business trips with vacations. Business Traveler is
also the only magazine in these categories that also offers both a weekly
newsletter and a monthly digital edition: See more at
The U.S. edition of Business Traveler magazine is published in New York
City 10 times a year with a circulation of over 150,000 in the U.S., and just
celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Orbitz for Business
Jim Cohn of Orbitz.com|Orbitz for Business, +1-312-260-8413,
Jim.firstname.lastname@example.org, or Nancy Bjorson of Brodeur, +1-202-775-2648,
email@example.com, for Orbitz for Business