Caitlin Storhaug
+1 (415) 537 5458

April 11, 2006
Business Travelers Report Sharp Improvement in Personalized Hotel Service, Accenture Survey Finds

Airline and Hotel Reward Programs Underutilized With Many Travelers Not Redeeming Miles and Points

NEW YORK; April 11, 2006 – Hotels are doing a much better job of providing personalized service than they have previously, according to results of a survey of business travelers released today by Accenture.

Nearly one-third (31 percent) of the more than 1,100 U.S. business travelers surveyed said that hotels recognize them as frequent customers and tailor reservations to fit their basic preferences, from room location to pillow type. This is a significant improvement from last Fall’s business travel survey, when fewer than one in five respondents (18 percent) said they were recognized as frequent guests and received customized service.

“Hotels know they must meet the needs of business travelers – their most profitable group of customers – and these results reflect the technology and process investments hotels have made during the past few years,” said Paul Chiu, managing partner, Accenture’s Transportation & Travel Services practice. “While there has been progress, the results also show continued opportunity for significant improvement.”

Unused Miles and Points
According to the latest business travel survey, 40 percent of respondents have not redeemed any points from airline reward programs and 56 percent have not redeemed any hotel reward program points. Half (50 percent) of those surveyed have not used hotel rewards because too many points are required. For airline travel, 42 percent of respondents said they have not redeemed any miles because of restrictive blackout dates. When asked what they would use airline miles for, 51 percent said they would redeem them for a free flight, while 32 percent said they would request a seat upgrade.

When business travelers dip into their points, most of those surveyed said they use them the same way they earned them, frequent flyer programs for free airline tickets and hotel reward points for free hotel stays.

Technology
Online flight bookings continue to soar as 76 percent of those surveyed said they use the Internet as their primary method to make airline reservations, up from 57 percent in the 2003 survey.

Business travelers continue to expand their use of the Internet to book hotel reservations. More than three-quarters (83 percent) of respondents said they had used the Internet to book a hotel room, up from 76 percent in the previous business travel survey.

“As use of the Internet becomes second nature for travelers, they will expect capabilities well beyond simple rate search and reservations, “ said Chiu. “These include features such as electronic folio access, virtual concierge and integrated trip planning.”

Other key business travel survey findings include:

Methodology
The Web-based survey of 1,128 U.S. business travelers who traveled more than 300 miles in the last six months was fielded in March 2006.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 129,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$15.55 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2005. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

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