The annual Business Travel Show (BTS) recently demonstrated that money was being freed up in the business travel market in 2016, with an estimated 33% of business travel buyers admitting to having more money to spend.

The Global Business Travel Association confirmed that spending on business travel in the EU (including Germany, Britain, France, Spain and Italy) is set to grow from $186.3 billion in 2014 to an expected figure of $210.6 billion in 2016.

So with all this expected 2016 cash flow, what areas should travel managers, airlines and the hospitality industry pay attention to? Research found that convenience is prioritized by business travelers above cost and comfort, with 62% of respondents stating this was the most important factor when travelling for business.

The BTS data shows that a tech tipping point has been reached in the traveler’s ability to take charge of their own destiny, with two thirds now able to book their business travel through an online booking tool. However, only a third of travelers are able to book travel on a mobile or tablet device, providing a significant area of opportunity for travel managers.

Clearly the client of business travel is rapidly changing and as the number of business travelers across the globe grows, so too do their modern expectations. Among the BTS research was a look into the new mind of the world’s business travelers to understand some of these changes.

The rise of the traveling young professional – A new group of frequent flyers and business travelers has surfaced among 26-35 year olds, who are demonstrating distinctive travel and spending habits. This group are very well-traveled, making an average of 24 round trips per year and 9 business class flights. They are keen to show they are ‘making it’, take an average of 7 gadgets while they fly and spend money on additional business travel benefits that offer convenience and comfort, more so than the older business travel demographics surveyed.

The growing importance of lounges and luxury – Luxury travel perks are being increasingly called upon by today’s business travelers. When given the choice, 73% of business travelers choose to enhance their trips with added benefits like airport lounge access or travel concierge services rather than staying in 4 star or 5 star hotel. Today, that airport lounge access is considered an ‘essential’ or ‘nice to have’ for a whopping 70% of frequent business travelers.

Growing need for digital experience – Today’s business travelers expect everything, to be available digitally 24/7. To meet this demand we are seeing a rise in new services such as digital airline tickets, airport apps and digital membership cards for airport lounge access. With an enthusiasm for technology, business travelers value apps, smartphones and digital experiences. They expect unique offers, regularly updated digital content and a seamless handover between all channels. 61% of those surveyed cite gadgets as their biggest indulgence, while 90% spend more than 5+ hours a week on their smartphone.