I was able to find some general statistics about the number of female
business travelers and the particular concerns professional women face
as they travel alone. I could find no specific breakdown in numbers
for the US and the UK, but I believe the following information will
provide a good overview.
BY 2005, 50% OF BUSINESS TRAVELERS WILL BE WOMEN SAY ESTIMATES
"By 2005, women are expected to exceed 50 percent of the total number
of business travelers. With distinct preferences, practical need and
significant purchasing power, they are making both the hotel and
travel industry light up and take notice."
"The average female business travelers, according to statistics from a
recent study by the New York University Center for Hospitality,
Tourism & Travel Administration, holds a management position and has
an annual income between $25,000 and $70,000, and is often the primary
or sole wage earner."
From "SUITE BLISS FOR THE FEMALE TRAVELER." Philipine Headline News. 2003
"Hotels all over the world are beginning to focus their amenities to
satisfy the female business traveler. A survey conducted by New York
University found that 40% of U.S. business travelers in 1999 were
female and the American Express Company estimates that women may soon
account for 50% of the world?s travelers."
From "Make Way for the Female Business Traveler." (Source: The Wall
Street Journal Europe, July 6, 2001).
The following estimates are a bit different and there is no reference
for their origin:
"The Hilton says that its proportion of guests who are female business
travellers has risen from 1% to 11% in five years. Other estimates
claim that 20% of business travellers in Europe are women and as high
as 40% in the US."
"For her - Hotels wake up to needs of women travellers." TQ3 Traveller
Online. 2003. http://www.traveller-online-emea.com/index.php?article_id=35092
"A survey conducted in March 2003 by the Preston Robert Tisch Centre
For Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management at New York University,
titled Coming of Age: The Continuing Evolution of Female Business
Travellers, estimates that 40 per cent of all business travellers in
the US are women."
"The single lady traveller is a fast growing niche market and has
tremendous potential," says Farhat Jamal, General Manager, Taj Land?s
End, Mumbai. The Taj Land?s End began to focus on the segment only
around two or three years ago. He quotes the global figures - "In 2004
women in North America alone are contributing to 44 per cent of global
business travel. The number of women travellers in the Far East have
risen over a decade from one million to 4.7 million - this includes
leisure travel as well, but this part of the world has a very large
number of single working women."
From "Wooing the Woman Traveller," by Anupama P Shenoy. feTraveller. 2003
The following report has some statistics concerning women business
travelers in the EU:
Please see section 1.1 "More Women" and Section 1.6 "More Women" of
the following report:
"Social and Political Trends 2003," by Rob Davidson. EIBTM Trend Report.
WOMEN'S CONCERNS ABOUT BUSINESS TRAVEL
"Female business travellers tend to worry about the cost of travel,
while men are more concerned by check-in queues. Men choose their
hotel by cost, but women choose them by location, which is a
reflection of their greater concern over security. In a recent survey,
twice as many women as men (52 per cent against 21 per cent) said that
they were concerned about security issues in the UK, although men
became more security-conscious when travelling overseas (up to 43 per
From "Business travel," by Gillian Upton. Traveler's Handbook.
What are Hotels Doing About It?
London's Hilton Park Lane:
"In spite of making good progress, Kristensen believes more can be
done, especially on security. "There should only be one entrance to
hotels and visitors should only be allowed on to guest floors if they
have a key," he says.
"Another issue that needs careful consideration is finding the correct
balance between being sensitive to women?s needs and patronising them
by treating them differently. For instance, some research done by some
hotel groups has told them that women don?t want women-only floors or
even special rooms. The debate goes on but TQ3?s own booking figures
show the number of female travellers is growing. They expect no longer
to be treated as minority consumers."
From "For her - Hotels wake up to needs of women travellers." TQ3
Traveller Online. 2003.
"Female business travellers spend more than 1 billion a year on hotel
accommodation and related services. Yet many hotels still fail to meet
the real demands and concerns of women travellers."
"Surveys have indicated security concerns among women travellers
outweigh grooming requirements, yet some hotels still provide no more
than in-room hairdryers, ironing equipment, and make-up mirrors as a
gesture towards meeting women's travel needs."
"Woman Aware is an independent initiative launched by the hotel
booking service Expotel aiming to raise awareness for the needs and
concerns of female business travellers, and has identified a range of
criteria to look for when choosing a hotel."
From "Be aware of travel safety issues for women," Business Europe.com
Eating and Drinking Alone
"For a lot of women travelling alone, however, being mistaken for a
prostitute is their biggest fear. It deters them from sitting in hotel
lobbies and stops them having a drink in the hotel bar. It ranks
alongside eating alone, checking in and worrying about room security
as one of the things they most hate about travelling."
From "Hotels wake up to women," by Sophie Campbell. Travel Voice.
"Figures published today (April 14) reveal that lone hotel stays are
still a major concern for most female business travellers, with more
than half (57%) feeling lonely while staying in a hotel on business."
"The results, drawn from the eighth Company Barclaycard Travel in
Business Survey, show that over two thirds (69%) of women dislike
drinking alone in a hotel bar, compared to just 29% of men. Similarly,
42% of women admit to being unhappy dining alone in hotel restaurants,
more than twice that of male business travellers."
"These figures come despite the fact that lone female business
travellers are more commonplace than ever, with almost half (48%)
travelling more on business in the last year than in 2002/3, and 90%
of all overnight business trips involving a solitary hotel stay."
From "Female business travellers still fear the hotel bar." IC Business News.
(Apr 14 2004)
"The number of psychological complaints increases as the number of
missions per year increase, and the increase is steeper for female
travelers than for male travelers."
"Female business travelers seem to have a tougher time preparing for
their absences than do males, perhaps because females are generally
more involved with arranging for baby sitters and carpools, for
From "Business Travel and Health."
"Thirty-one percent of female business travelers who have reduced
their level of flying because of the hassles of security have done so
because of the personal "intrusion from security," compared to 12
percent overall. By contrast, of male business travelers who have
reduced their level of travel, only 4% cited the intrusion of security
as the reason."
From "SURVEY SHOWS TRAVELER CONFIDENCE RETURNING; CONCERNS OVER THE
ECONOMY?S HEALTH IS PRIMARY REASON CONSUMERS ARE AVOIDING TRAVEL." NYC
For a comprehensive overview of statistics, attitudes and concerns of
women business travellers, please see the following article:
"Study of women business travelers reveals opinions." Hotel Marketing
An article relating to inequality in the reimbursement for business
expenses among male and female business travellers:
"Is It A Man's World? Visa EU Business Travel Survey 2004."
I hope this information is helpful in providing an overview of the
female business travel market and some particular concerns relating to
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