New STB report identifies four distinct profiles of Asian business travellers

Travellers and tourists at the arrival hall of Changi Airport Terminal 1.
Travellers and tourists at the arrival hall of Changi Airport Terminal 1. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE -Most business travellers in Asia view work trips as a travel experience, and want more freedom in choosing their hotels and flights, a new study has found.

The Asian Business Travellers report, commissioned by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), surveyed over 2,500 people across five key markets - Singapore, India, Indonesia, Japan and China. They represent more than 78.8 per cent of Asia's business travel spending.

Asia commands 38 per cent of the amount spent on business travel globally and is the largest business travel market in the world with a worth of US$1 trillion, said STB's director of exhibitions and conferences Andrew Phua. The market is expected to grow four times faster than North America, and gain a further 5 per cent of the global pie, he added.

The report found that more people are booking their work trips on online and mobile platforms and are considering sharing economy accommodation as lodging options. Low-cost carriers are also capturing a larger share of business travel expenditure, with 41 per cent of those surveyed indicating their willingness to fly such carriers for work.

The report also identified four archetypes of business travellers, each with different motivations for travel.They are the Stereotypical Suits, travellers over 35 who value convenience above other factors; Service Seekers who place a high premium on service and 'feel good' factors; Points Maximisers who see travelling as an opportunity to maximise loyalty rewards and prioritise comfort over cost; and Belt Tighteners who are value-conscious.

A majority of Singaporeans and Japanese business travellers fell into the Points Maximisers type. Travellers from the two countries tend to be more budget-conscious than others, STB noted.