Waiting to fly stock image.

Waiting to fly stock image. (Dreamstime/TNS)

The vast majority of LGBTQ travelers have hidden their sexual orientation while traveling on a business trip out of fear for their safety.

In fact, a staggering 95% of LGBTQ travelers have felt the need to hide their orientation, according to a new SAP Concur study.

What's more, 85% have gone so far as to change their travel arrangements out of concern for their safety, compared to just 53% of their non-LGBTQ colleagues, according to the new study.

And it's not just LGBTQ travelers who've experienced such significant fear or challenges while traveling.

More than three in four female business travelers (77 percent) reported having experienced some sort of harassment or mistreatment while traveling.

The survey, which tapped 7,850 business travelers in 19 global markets, also reveals that nearly half of young female business travelers face discrimination, which materializes in a variety of ways. For instance, 46% of Gen Z women report having been asked if they were traveling with their husbands compared to 31% of boomers.

At the same time, 41% of millennial women have been ignored by service workers compared to 23% of boomers.

Overall, the study found that travelers often feel unsafe.

- 58% of respondents say they have changed their travel arrangements because they felt unsafe while 52% of business travelers also cite travel safety as the most valuable training their company could provide.

- Millennial business travelers are more sensitive to current events. In the last 12 months, 42% have reduced travel to a location because of political unrest or health hazards, compared to 36% of Gen Xers and 23% of boomers.

- Nearly as many millennial business travelers (40 percent) have also selected a flight based on aircraft type, compared to 33% of Gen Xers and 21% of boomers.

- Nearly one-third (31 percent) of business travelers prioritize their own safety as the most important factor when taking a business trip, yet over half (54 percent) believe safety is not their companies' top priority

Yet another revelation from the SAP Concur survey - business travel is not getting any easier or any less stressful in this day and age, despite all the modern technology we have at our fingertips.

In fact, 67% of respondents believe their company lags when it comes to adopting the latest technologies to make business travel easier. And an overwhelming majority of business travelers (94 percent) are willing to share personal information to improve their business travel experience - an impressive number in an age of data privacy concerns.

About 37% of business travelers also feel the most stress before a trip when they're planning, booking and organizing travel - or on the flip side, when a traveler returns home with 24% of business travelers saying they would rather have a cavity filled at the dentist than complete an expense report.

"While companies continue to try and maximize traveler satisfaction, the reality is that employees are hungry for more empathy, guidance and better technology as they run into both common frustrations and unique individual concerns, leaving room for improvement among organizations of all sizes," said Mike Koetting, chief product strategy officer at SAP Concur.


(TravelPulse is a leading travel authority on the web, providing consumer travel news and insider tips and advice for an ever-changing travel world. Read more stories at travelpulse.com)

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