#WomensDay: Five things you never knew about women business travellers

According to a recent report on Women in Business Travel published by FCM Travel Solutions, a division of the Flight Centre travel Group, nearly two-thirds of all travellers today are women.

The report also shows that women make 80% of all travel decisions, which effectively means 670 million women around the world control US$15 trillion (R214 trillion) in spending power, making female travellers a market twice the size of China and India’s markets combined.

In Africa, 89% of businesses have at least one woman on their senior management teams, as compared to 75% of businesses worldwide. In light of Women’s Day today, FCM Travel Solutions compiled a list of interesting findings on women business travellers. Here’s a few of them:

Time away from family is the biggest pain point for women

The most significant drawbacks of business travel identified by the study were time spent away from the family, and a dislike of travelling alone. Time spent away from the family is what 77.2% of respondents like least about business travel (although 26.9% of travellers said this is a benefit…). Disruption to work (37.8%) and disliking having to travel alone (14.3%) were two other prominent drawbacks. Women find business travel particularly disruptive to their work.

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Men stay away longer than women

While women tend to make more overnight stays than men, more men stay away for longer. 31.1% of women make fewer than ten trips a year, compared to 18% of men. Overall men are travelling slightly more than women, although women attend more events and conferences, the result suggests.

Women are more loyal

Loyalty schemes appeal more to men than women with 10% of men citing rewards as a key factor in airline choice, compared to 6.7% of women, even though 70% of female travellers belong to an airline loyalty programme, compared to 37.2% of men.

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Women business travellers like to travel

Research shows that women like to travel even more than their male counterparts with 45.83% of women saying they enjoy their travels as opposed to 39,58% of men. Although the value of business travel lies in face-to-face interaction and meeting colleagues, over half of travellers enjoy the sheer experience of travel and exposure to different cultures.

Women prefer hotels to Airbnb

More than half of business travellers said they would stay in an Airbnb property, although fewer women are willing to do so than men. That said, the results suggest women are more open to the concept than men.

“On this International Women’s Day 2019 under the theme of #BalanceforBetter, we are reminded to focus on a gender-balanced world," General Manager FCM South Africa Nicole Adonis. "Our study has shown that male and female business travellers are more similar than ever before. With just a few exceptions, the tastes and habits of both genders are in fact the same.”

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