Skift Take

The business travelers have spoken, are you listening?

This post comes from our partner

A mint on the pillow is a nice touch. The morning paper is, too.

But an array of more productivity-driven perks hit the wish lists of today’s road warriors. With too much to do and too little time to do it, they need hotels with amenities aimed at increasing efficiency. Hotels have answered the call, investing billions, collectively, on improved guest experiences over the last fifteen years, says Henry Harteveldt, travel industry analyst at Atmosphere Research Group.

Which of these matter most to business travelers? Connectivity. Free WiFi topped the list of factors influencing most business travelers’ choice in hotels. Tech-savvy next-Gen travelers especially value WiFi, with 48.3% of those aged 18-24 surveyed listing it as their must-have. Of the road warriors earning between $75,000 and $99,000, 52% most value free Wifi; 24.8% of those earning $100,000 to $149,000 choose a hotel based on its offering of free WiFi.

Skift + American Express asked them— in an online survey — what hotel amenities they look for while on the road. The results show that business travelers prize features that help them work faster and more effectively. We’ve outlined the top-level results of our survey below.

Important: This survey was commissioned by The Hilton HHonors (TM) Surpass® Card from “American Express”. This single-question survey was administered to the U.S. internet population through Google Consumer Surveys, with a qualifying question to target only business travelers. The methodology is “explained here”.

Topline Result, Chart below:
Free WiFi tops the list of amenities business travelers most favor, with 35.2% saying it influences their choice of hotel, while 28.2% place value on the proximity of their hotel to the space in which they are working or meeting. After that, 25.5% favor free breakfast. Surprisingly, only 10.9% of those that travel for business factor in their enrollment in a hotel’s loyalty program.


Breakdown by Gender, Charts below:
Overall gender breakouts split somewhat evenly across the board. While 36.2% of men, and 32.1% of women chose free WiFi as the overall top amenity, 31.7% men and 30.9% of women said a hotel close to their office or meeting place was important. Free breakfast was also a factor, with 21.7% of men and 28.7% identifying it as being their amenity of choice when deciding where to stay.

For men:


For women:


Breakdown by Age, Charts below:
Free Wifi is valued most by almost every age group, except by those 55 and older, who say having a hotel close to where they are working or meeting is top of mind.

18-24 year olds:


25-34 year olds:


35-44 year olds:


45-54 year olds:


55-64 year olds:


Breakdown by Region, Charts below:
Of business travelers in the US West and South, 37.9% and 35.1%, respectively, place a higher value on free WiFi than those in other areas. In the Midwest, 39.7% value having a hotel close to where they are working or meeting; 38.3% of those in the Northeast chose proximity to their office or meeting place.

US West:


US South:


US Midwest:


US Northeast:


Breakdown by Region, Charts below:
Interestingly while suburbanites overwhelmingly value free WiFi while traveling for work, 36.1% of those living in urban areas and and 32.3% of those living in rural areas chose proximity to work / meeting location over free WiFi (31.7%) and breakfast (28.8%), respectively.

Suburban region:


Urban region:


Rural region:


Breakdown by Inferred Parental Status, Charts below:
The majority of non-parents, of 52.1%, wish to stay in a hotel that offers free WiFi, while 40% of parents surveyed said they wish to stay in a hotel that’s close to where they are meeting; 40% also value free breakfast.





This content is created collaboratively in partnership with our sponsor, American Express.


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Tags: Business Travelers

Photo credit: Jon Rawlinson, Flickr

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