The research, titled “Gender differences in booking business travel: advance booking behavior and associated financial impact” analysed 6.4 million air booking transactions and found that women book their flights 1.9 days earlier than their male counterparts, therefore paying an average of around two per cent less for their airfare.
The financial implications of these findings are significant. For companies with 1,000 business travelers, the difference – and therefore the potential saving – is just under $50,000 a year. That rises to $1 million for a traveler base of 20,000 people.
Other findings include the fact that people tend to book flights further in advance the older they are. Additionally, as people’s flying frequency increases, they typically book flights closer to their departure date. Interestingly, the gender gap almost disappears among the most frequent travellers.
CWT is a global leader specialized in managing business travel and meetings and events. In conducting their research CWT worked with Javier Donna, Assistant Professor of Economics at The Ohio State University, and Gregory Veramendi, Assistant Professor of Economics at Arizona State University. Using advanced statistical techniques, the team was able to quantify a direct link between gender and flight booking patterns.
Their analysis technique can be used to examine other areas of travel, helping travel managers gain new insights by understanding traveler behavior better. This will help develop personalisation, including more targeted messages, more precise travel management and improved program efficiency.
According to Catalin Ciobanu, Senior Director Data & Analytics in the CWT Solutions Group, “This analysis technique opens up a whole new range of opportunities in the quest for personalised travel.
“It can also be applied to many other types of traveller segmentation, including geography, booking channel used, or individual business unit, for example.
“Ultimately, by knowing our travelers better we can improve both their experience, as well as the effectiveness and efficiency of corporate travel programs.”
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