Traveler well-being is the second most important priority for shoppers, but not all organizations provide this kind of support, according to a new survey from BCD Travel.
TMC’s survey of 118 global travel buyers found that 92% rated the well-being of their travelers as extremely or very important, and ranked it just behind duty of care as an overall priority. .
Despite this focus, only 62% of buyers said their organizations currently provide traveler wellness support and only 14% said their companies plan to increase their traveler wellness budget in 2022.
Travelers themselves were also less aware of the wellness measures available, with only 51% saying their company offered this type of support.
The study found that the best ways to improve traveler well-being were convenient hotel location, direct flights, and the ability to travel business class on long-haul trips.
Buyers said the best policy options for increasing well-being were the freedom to decide whether or not to travel, as well as providing a simple travel approval process. Although travelers said they mostly want to be able to choose their airplane seat and access fast-track safety programs.
Only 20% of travelers said being offered sustainable travel options helped their well-being. This compares to 43% of shoppers now offering more sustainable travel choices as part of their programs.
In terms of wellness support, shoppers said mental health metrics were the most important. But travelers were more concerned about their physical well-being and wanted advice on nutrition, sleep and recovery, as well as a gym membership on the road.
Shoppers and travelers valued the ability to work from home before and after a trip, and travelers were also more interested in having extra time off to compensate for work outside of working hours while on a business trip.
Mike Janssen, Global Managing Director and Chief Commercial Officer of BCD Travel, said: “This survey reveals a significant gap between supply and demand for wellbeing, as well as differing views on which metrics best support the passenger well-being.
“Travel buyers need to align their policies with what their travelers value and need. At the same time, they may also need to spend more time and effort to clearly communicate the benefits of mental support, which is currently less valued than physical support.