Each year, Yesawich, Pepperdine, Brown & Russell/Yankelovich measures the lodging and brand preferences of business travelers in our National Business Travel Monitor. This nationally projectable survey of the travel habits, preferences and intentions of business travelers is conducted with 1,200 active business travelers each January and February, with the results reported in May.

Now in its 10th year, the National Business Travel Monitor has become one of the most closely watched barometers of business travel trends and is used to guide product development and marketing strategies.

So what types of lodging do business travelers prefer?

As noted in the table, business travelers display a clear preference for full-service lodging in "branded" properties (e.g., part of some recognizable national chain). One-third now display a preference for all-suite accommodations (up significantly from the late 1990s). And although moderately-priced accommodations are still modally preferred, there has been a significant shift observed in preference by perceived price point: a decline in preference for moderately-priced lodging and corresponding increase in preference for economy lodging. Smaller properties (less than 300 guestrooms) remain preferred over larger properties (greater than 300 rooms), although these preferences appear to be changing as well.

Perhaps of greater interest to readers are the preferences associated with specific lodging brands. These are measured in Business Monitor through "unaided mentions," the purest measure of brand presence. Specifically, business travelers are asked to identify their top three lodging choices when traveling on business.

Three brands dominate the brandscape for business travel as defined by preference: Marriott, Holiday Inn and Hilton. It is interesting to note, however, that these same rankings do not apply to the brand preferences for leisure travelers.

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