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Women business travellers choose trusted hotel chains amid safety concerns

According to new research, around 70 per cent of women are opting for well-known hotel brands when they travel on business trips, due to fears over their personal safety.

The report by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) in association with AIG Travel found that shared housing such as Airbnb and HomeAway, are gaining in popularity, with 24 per cent of those polled opting for this alternative.

Over 50 per cent said they were swayed to book highly rated properties, and also were keen to book full house/apartment listings as a security precaution.

Trusted hotel chains are top of the list, with 74 per cent of women booking in advance. The safety of the neighbourhood was also cited as important as well as location, with 64 per cent of those polled wanting somewhere near their work venue.

“High levels of concern have a tangible impact on business travel for women,” said Amanda Cecil, senior vice president of professional development and research for GBTA.

She added that understanding the types of risks female travellers fear while away from home can “allow travel buyers to play a critical role in addressing these concerns.”

The top concerns for women business travellers include general safety (78 per cent). Nearly 80 per cent of those polled had worries over sexual harassment and assault, believing they were more likely to face greater risks while away from home than their male colleagues.

The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) recommends that women travellers are booked into the third and upper floors of hotels, which pose less risk of intruders coming in through windows. The association also suggests booking into hotel rooms with double locks for extra security.

“The research findings show that many female business travellers are aware of and concerned about the challenges they may face while traveling for work,” Rhonda Sloan, AIG Travel’s head of marketing and industry relations said.

Many women feel that more attention should be given to their needs while on business trips. Around 68 per cent felt that their companies need to have policies specifically looking at the demands of female corporate travellers, who now make up at at least half of all business travellers.