Ok there it is, we said it. Let the comments begin. But in truth, I think most frequent travelers will agree that travel is easier after the summer holiday season is over. Security lines move quicker, planes load more smoothly and flights tend to be quieter without families. Not that we don’t like kids, we do. It’s just that they aren’t as efficient as say an United 1k Member or a Marco Polo Club Diamond Traveler.
So now that the Fall is here airlines will shift their focus from screaming vacation-bound families to intrepid, road weary business travelers. You know the ones; these are the savvy business travelers who can head to Mongolia for two weeks armed with only one small carry-on bag and yet still have the resources to pull out a tuxedo for a night time soiree and a hard hat and work boots for daytime reconnaissance missions. These are our types of fellow passengers; they rarely whine, more often than not don’t want to talk and they don’t hog the overhead bins.
Frankly the leisure traveler is gravy for most travel organizations while the business traveler is their bread and butter. The Office of Travel & Tourism Industries, International Trade Administration and US Department of Commerce have compiled some interesting stats for us on who travels and why.
• 27% of all trips abroad by Americans is for business
• Over 8.4 million Americans travel abroad for business annually
• 97% are repeat international business travelers
• 51% visited Europe, 25% Asia, 22% Central, South America & Caribbean
• They spent an average of $ 5,074 per travel party
• Average household income was in excess of $ 125,000
The key learning here is that the business traveler rules! We pay the freight for the leisure traveler, we support the travel industry year in and year out and we make all of the ancillary companies like Boeing and Airbus; Tumi and Samsonite; and even Apple and Microsoft more profitable by our absence from the office and home. In exchange all we ask for is a little respect, a comfortable seat, a decent meal, and a movie that doesn’t star Matthew Perry (but that’s the subject of yet another blog).