Women are more organised, plan further ahead and differ in terms of their travel priorities, according to a survey of more than 1,000 business travellers commissioned by bmi regional to understand the behaviour and demands of women travelling on business.
The research reveals that women have their own distinct travel habits that differentiate female travellers from their male colleagues. A quarter of women business travellers fly more now than they did five years ago and women tend to plan their business travel further in advance than men, with 39% making arrangements less than four weeks in advance compared to 20% of men, who tend to plan just a few days ahead.
While 28% of women feel safe when abroad for business, 15% prefer to travel with a companion.
Women’s adaptability to travel environments has also been highlighted in research from Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), which suggests men are far more concerned about status when flying – such as travelling in Premium Class – than their female counterparts.
A quarter of respondents said single sex lavatories on aircraft would be a good idea, but only 6% of female respondents to the poll said they would be willing to pay for single sex facilities, and 10% would welcome separate seating sections for women on aircraft.
Cathal O’Connell, CEO of the carrier, said: “This research shows that small differences can make all the difference. There are subtle differences in the way men and women travel. Given changes in the UK workforce over recent years, it is perhaps not surprising that the travel sector tries to woo women with female-only hotel floors and adapted guest rooms, but our results show that female business travellers are not put off from solo travel by what is currently on offer from airlines, hotels and restaurants.”
Debbee Dale, vice chair of the Association of Women Travel Executives (AWTE), said: “It is great that companies such as bmi regional and CWT are investing in these types of surveys for women business travellers. Women play a vital role in business and as time goes on and we see even more women take lead roles in organisations, we would like to believe that forward-thinking companies will look after our women business traveller. The needs and wants differ from person to person, however both genders differ in terms of priorities when travelling and we support any organisation that works to meet those wants, needs and priorities.”