Globally, three in ten business travelers are happy to sacrifice safety for hotel loyalty and rewards incentives, according to research commissioned by Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the global travel management company. Travelers in the Americas are likeliest to do so (39%), followed by Europeans (34%) and travelers from Asia Pacific (28%).
Only around one in five (21%) Indian business travelers said they would choose points over personal safety, making them the least likely globally to do so, of the 17 countries surveyed.
“Clearly, travelers are very focused on their hotel loyalty points – they will go to great lengths to get their hands on those benefits,” said David Falter, President, RoomIt by CWT. “One way of meeting that challenge – short of tougher enforcement – is to let travelers collect points for booking within policy.”
What makes business travelers feel unsafe at hotels?
Almost one in three (30%) Asia Pacific business travelers expressed concerns about safety at hotels, in contrast to 27% travelers from the Americas and 23% of European travelers. Indians (39%) are the most worried globally about their personal safety at hotels, according to the survey.
When asked what makes them feel unsafe, exactly half the travelers surveyed globally said they worry about an intruder breaking into their hotel room.
What makes Indian travelers most anxious, however, is hotel staff inadvertently giving out their room key or information to a stranger – more than two-thirds (67%) of Indians surveyed labeled this a concern, compared with 41% of travelers globally.
This was followed by disruptions caused by the actions of other guests – something that worries 56% of Indian travelers, versus 40% of travelers globally.
And a third of respondents globally identified fires (36%) and terrorist attacks (33%) as causes for concern.
What precautions do travelers take to stay safe at hotels?
As expected, the vast majority of travelers (75%) said one of the measures they take to stay safe is keeping their room door locked at all times.
“While most hotel rooms lock automatically, a number of solutions available on the market can provide an added layer of security,” said Falter. “Items such as door wedges, portable door locks and travel door alarms can help a traveler secure their room more effectively.”
More than a third of travelers surveyed globally (37%), and 46% of Indian travelers, said they take the room key out of key folder so people can’t link the key to the room. Travelers from the Americas (42%) are more likely to do this than those from other regions.
Another tactic is to put the ”do not disturb” sign on the door when they leave the room – one adopted by 30% of travelers globally and 35% in Asia Pacific.
Travelers also believe that the floor they stay on can impact their safety and security. Almost a quarter of those surveyed (23%) said they opt for a higher floor when possible, while 15% choose a lower flower. Around two in ten travelers (21%) said they avoid staying on the ground floor. Indian travelers expressed a strong preference for staying on a higher floor, with 30% of those surveyed saying they make this request.
“Security experts typically advise staying between the third and sixth floors, where it becomes difficult for an intruder to break in, but you’re still within the reach of most fire departments’ ladders,” added Falter.