One of the five unique emerging traveller types our research identified in Shaping the future of travel in Asia Pacific: The big FOUR travel effects is the female business traveller.
As we have briefly mentioned in a previous blog post outlining the five emerging traveller types – Asia Pacific travel is currently dominated by men, accounting for almost three-quarters of all business travellers, particularly in Japan, Korea, Indonesia and India. In these countries males currently account for around four-fifths of all business travellers.
We estimate that in 2011 there were approximately 4.5 million international business trips by women from the seven countries that we have studied – but by 2030 this will have increased by 400%.
It could be argued that traditionally, fewer women reach the middle and senior management posts where travel was required, being under-represented in these management positions across the region.
Today, women now account for close to 50% of all graduates across the region, and with greater emphasis on childcare, job sharing, flexi-time, etc., by government and corporations, their representation in the business traveller community will grow substantially.
Singapore is among the leading regional markets for female business travellers, with 15% of women in executive boards and 20% in mid-senior management, the highest in the region. This is reflected in a much higher proportion of female business travellers from Singapore – 32% of all business travellers, a much higher proportion than from countries such as India, Indonesia, Japan and Korea.
As with the small business traveller, the female traveller presents opportunities for travel providers to gain share by adapting their offering to the individual needs of women travellers – not just in terms of the physical aspects of the offer (women-only floors, female friendly restaurants, etc.) but also in the way that they reach and communicate with the female traveller.
Women use different processes than men to make travel decisions, for example greater reliance on peer recommendations or advice, so responding to this will be critical for travel providers to win over the female traveller.