BELLEVUE, Wash., May 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Expedia.com®, one of the world's largest full service online travel sites1, today launched Expedia+ business, a loyalty program optimized to help small businesses in the United States save money and reward employees for business travel. Expedia+ business provides small businesses with a dedicated travel site, through which they can view employee itineraries, monitor spending and manage company rewards. Employees benefit as well – they will automatically be enrolled in the +silver tier of the Expedia+ rewards program. Expedia+ business is a free service, available at www.expedia.com/business.
For a great many small businesses, travel is important but can be messy. Larger companies often have a dedicated travel division, or have travel managed via an outside agency. For smaller businesses, such luxuries are impossible.
Expedia+ business Program Features
Expedia+ business allows companies to earn a $100 hotel coupon for every 10 hotel nights booked, including those booked in the Expedia app and regardless of who in the company makes the booking. This hotel coupon can be used by the company immediately, saved for future travel or given as a gift to an employee for personal leisure travel. Small business owners will find an easy-to-navigate online tool that simplifies expense and trip planning for all company travel.
Members of Expedia+ business and their employees are also enrolled in the Expedia+ rewards program and are automatically upgraded to +silver tier, which includes access to perks such as priority customer service and free hotel amenities at more than 900 +VIP Access hotels. In addition to the Expedia+ business program for small businesses, also in the Expedia, Inc. family is Egencia®, which offers businesses an integrated approach to managed travel.
According to the December 2014 Phocuswright U.S. Online Travel Overview, online leisure/unmanaged business travel represented 43% of the total US travel market in 2013. Additional analysis from Expedia indicates that business travelers in the US have the opportunity to save up to $4,512 annually, per employee, when booking travel using Expedia+ business.
"The total US online travel market is a $145 billion business* and unmanaged business travel makes up roughly 25% of that, which is a $36 billion opportunity," said David Doctorow, chief marketing & strategy officer and SVP, global marketing, Expedia. "Small businesses are looking for clarity when it comes to travel, and this program provides it. Expedia+ business offers tools that are typically reserved for much larger businesses, at no cost. This is especially important as businesses are looking for smarter ways to position themselves competitively and manage their bottom line."
Expedia's 2015 Small Business Behavior Index
Expedia recently commissioned a study of American small business travelers, dubbed the 2015 Small Business Behavior Index to learn more about small business travel habits. The study was conducted by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm. Northstar surveyed 1,001 adult Americans to identify the behaviors and preferences of small business travelers. Do they spend more or less when they travel on company business? What perks do they prefer? Do small business travel habits differ between younger and older people?
- Expedia's Small Business Behavior Index found that loyalty programs are important for all aspects of business travel, particularly among millennial travelers. 78% of small business travelers say loyalty programs are important to them when booking a flight for business travel. An equal proportion (77%) say loyalty programs are important when booking a hotel for business travel. One-half (54%) of American small business travelers say loyalty programs are important when booking a car rental. Loyalty programs for flights, hotels and car rentals are more important to younger business travelers (84% rate loyalty programs as being important when booking flights, 81% when booking a hotel and 59% when booking a car rental).
- A majority of small business travelers (91%) spend more on meals, hotel rooms and room service than when they travel on personal money. In comparison to their older counterparts, millennials (aged 18 to 34) are likeliest to spend more on room service, transportation, alcohol, entertainment, first class airline seats and advance seat selections.
- When booking hotels, location trumps all. Hotel location is the most important feature when booking accommodations for a business trip. When these same travelers book hotels for personal use, price is the most important criterion. The same is true of flights. Small business travelers rank "flight schedule / flight times" as most important for business travel, but "price" is the top concern when booking for leisure travel.
- When booking business travel, small business travelers spend an average of $987 on a round trip flight, $288 per night on a hotel and $214 on a car rental. Business travelers in the IT / Technology sector spend more on flight, hotel and car rental than travelers in other sectors. The average spends within the IT / Technology space are $1345 on a round trip flight, $382 per night on a hotel and $260 on a car rental.
- 65% of American small business travelers have extended a business trip into a personal vacation. This practice is most pronounced among millennials (76% have done so) than older Americans (43%).
About The Study
This study was conducted on behalf of Expedia by Northstar, a globally integrated strategic insights consulting firm, among 1001 adult Americans. Surveys were completed between April 15 and April 20, 2015. Sampling quotas were imposed to ensure the sample is representative of the US population in terms of age, gender and region. Assuming a probability sample, the margin of error would be +/-3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Expedia.com is one of the world's largest full service travel sites1, helping millions of travelers per month easily plan and book travel. Expedia.com (http://www.expedia.com/, 1-800-EXPEDIA) aims to provide the latest technology and the widest selection of top vacation destinations, cheap tickets, hotel deals, car rentals, destination weddings, cruise deals and in-destination activities, attractions, services and travel apps. With the Expedia Best Price Guarantee, Expedia.com customers can get the best rates available online for all types of travel.
Expedia, Expedia.com, Expedia Rewards, Find Yours and the Airplane logo are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be the property of their respective owners © 2015 Expedia, Inc. All rights reserved. CST # 2029030-50
1Based on a comparison of other full-service online travel agencies, defined as those providing booking and services related to air, hotel, cruise, car and activities to a global customer base. Data based on comScore Media Metrix for Expedia, Inc. Sites, Worldwide, Average Monthly Unique Visitors, Oct '12-Sept '13.
* July 2014 PhoCusWright Global Online Travel Overview
NORTHSTAR is a strategic marketing insights and consulting firm that aligns leading edge, customized research techniques and cultural context with proprietary and proven strategic marketing frameworks and models to drive insights to impact. Northstar's suite of services relate to the most critical elements of brand, customer and marketing strategy, with sector expertise in travel and tourism, retail, automotive, CPG, food & beverage, financial services, pharma / health care, transportation and fashion / luxury. For more information, please go to www.northstarhub.com.
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