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Survey: Business travel expected to increase in 2013

Business travel is expected to increase substantially in 2013 and trigger growth in the travel and hospitality industries according to a new survey conducted by Frequent Business Traveler.

One-third of business travelers surveyed said they will travel more in 2013 vs. 2012, and 50 percent said they would be traveling more compared to two years ago. The survey also highlighted several trends in business travel including membership in frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs, loyalty to hotel chains and airline alliances, and a greater emphasis on staying healthy when traveling.

The survey was conducted during the last quarter of 2012 in association with FlyerTalk, the world's largest online travel community, and polled 1,349 frequent business travelers.

"As business travel increases, business travelers are becoming more demanding about what they want," said Jonathan Spira, Frequent Business Traveler magazine's editorial director. "Because these people are on the road so often, they won't compromise in what they get and airlines and hotels need to find more and better ways to cater to them."

Other key findings of the survey include:

- Hotels and airlines need to do far more to ensure a more consistent experience for travelers, as 83 percent of hotel guests and 77 percent of airline passengers say their experiences are inconsistent.

- Business travelers are more loyal to airline programs than they are to hotel loyalty programs. Almost 80 percent said they would fly with a preferred airline or alliance even if a flight were not as convenient, compared to the 58 percent who said they would stay at a less-conveniently situated hotel in order to stay at a particular brand.

- Wi-Fi impacts buying decisions. One quarter of survey respondents say that the availability of in-flight Wi-Fi impacts their choice of airline and flight while 73 percent say that they look for free Wi-Fi when selecting a hotel.

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