Can travel be an investment for your business?

Elizabeth Barry 6 October 2017

business travel

A new survey shows the value of business travel for personal and business success.

A global survey from Booking.com for Business has found that nearly half (47%) of respondents use business travel opportunities to grow their company's business, while 38% use them to seek inspiration for their work. The survey was of 17,000 working professionals from 24 countries. It revealed a shared sentiment that business travel is essential to business and personal professional growth.

“Experiencing different cultures and destinations and gaining new perspectives through travel is becoming increasingly important to professional success, particularly in today’s hyper-connected and globalised business world," said Ripsy Bandourian, senior director of product development at Booking.com for Business.

"Regardless of profession, today’s business travellers are savvier about the value up for grabs, both for their companies and for themselves."

Interestingly though, there were a few differences between respondents from different industries. A higher percentage of retail and sales (45%) and education (61%) professionals wanted to gain inspiration from business travel to apply to their work, compared to the average 38% across all respondents.

The main goal for nearly two-thirds (64%) of medical and health professionals was learning new skills to apply to their jobs. This is compared to the 31% average of all respondents.

For many businesses, travel is essential for staying competitive. Businesses need members of their organisations to attend conferences and meetings and to stay ahead of the curve with technologies being developed in their industries overseas.

Travel providers are also jumping on the business bandwagon, with Airbnb improving its services for business travellers, and hotels in the world's largest cities opening to cater to business travellers. The survey results show that this is exactly what business travellers want – tailored, specific facilities for business travel. Bandourian says that where business travellers stay is crucial to realising the value of the business trip.

"Today’s business travellers [are] seeking places that align with their specific, priority needs when it comes to location, flexibility and certain amenities."

Just over half of respondents (51%) agreed that travel and accommodation options that cater specifically to business travellers are no longer optional but essential. Specifically, respondents were looking for a comfortable bed (56%), a strong Wi-Fi signal (47%) and a hearty breakfast (35%). Travellers also want a convenient location with access to meetings (47%) and placement in the city centre (36%).

“Looking at our data and millions of business traveller reviews, we make it easier to find those stays recommended by other business travellers, without compromising on choice," says Bandourian.

"Corporate travellers can enjoy flexibility and freedom to personalise and maximise their business stay experience, all while still working within their company’s policy.”

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Picture: Shutterstock

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