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BLEISURE: Combining business with leisure is the key to staff retention



Personalised Business Travel is Key to Recruitment and Retention


  • Over a third (38%) of global professionals would actively pursue a new job if it offered more business travel; Architects and Management Consultants top the list.

  • Business travel is even more of a motivator for the millennial employee – 46% would pursue a new job for more travel and 37% accepted their job because of it

  • Almost half (45%) value the ability to blend business travel with leisure activities over more traditional workplace benefits


New research from Booking.com for Business, the global leader in connecting business travellers with the widest choice of places to stay, reveals how people’s professions shape their outlooks towards business and leisure travel, and the increasing intersection of the two. The study surveyed over 17,000 working professionals from 24 countries across more than 20 industries to identify common trends and variations by profession.


Almost a third (30%) of all working professionals accepted their job fully or in part because of the business travel opportunities it offered, highlighting the lure of business travel for employees. When looking into specific professions, this sentiment is echoed most by Architects and Designers (45%) and Management Consultants (38%).


In addition, over a third (38%) say they would actively pursue a new job if it meant they could travel even more for business. This figure rises to 46% among 18-34 year olds, and similarly, Architects and Designers (48%) and Management Consultants (43%). The statistics suggest that employers looking to attract and retain the best talent should consider travel as an intrinsic part of the job package they offer.


Combining business with leisure, but ‘bleisure’ looks different across professions


A third of global professionals (32%) feel their work and leisure time is very intertwined and in Australia, those in Technology and Computing (63%), Education (60%), Banking and Professional Services (56%) and Medical/Health (40%) agree that experiencing new cultures and destinations adds value to their jobs.


 Three quarters (73%) of Aussie professionals extend a business trip by a few hours or days to enjoy the city and also make time for leisure activities within a trip (73%). Overall, 43% of professionals value the ability to blend business travel with leisure benefits over traditional workplace benefits and 40% see it as a major work perk.


So what drives Australians to combine a business trip with leisure? The top two factors are based on the destination itself and the length of the trip – 50% want to explore a city they haven’t visited before, and 46% want the ability to extend the trip through the weekend. But the results also unveil more subtle differences in how professions approach leisure time during a business trip:


Reasons for combining business with leisure

Global Professional average

Explore a destination previously un-visited

50%

Able to extend the trip through the weekend

46%

Revisit a favourite location

38%

Have time away from work to recharge

35%

Save money with some travel expenses covered

35%

Extend a work trip to make a long-haul flight more manageable

29%

Visit friend / family who lives there

22%

Able to use miles / points to bring friends / family along

12%


For those who extend business trips for leisure time, the majority of Australian’s do so by 24 hours (41%), followed by 2-3 days (33%) and a few hours (17%). In terms of how people spend this off-the-clock time, the results paint an interesting picture of today’s modern travelling professional. Exploring well-known attractions (50%), trying local cuisine or dining at top restaurants (38%) and shopping (37%) emerged as the top three activities overall, there are interesting variations across professions:


Professional preferences are reflected in leisure travel choices


In terms of the most preferred accommodation for a holiday stay, interesting variations are revealed across professions. Banking and Professional Services are more inclined than others to stay somewhere with “local charm” (26% vs. 16% avg.) whereas Technology and Computing (41%) and Local or National Government professionals (42% vs. 32% avg.) prefer to stay in a ‘home away from home’. Alternatively, Manufacturing and Logistics professionals prefer ‘self-catering’ accommodation (27% vs. 23% avg.)


When considering what drives holiday accommodation choice, location is key across all professions, with 47% wanting convenience for meetings, followed by being close to the city centre (36%), while leisure travellers want to be as close as possible to local attractions (48%). Having a strong start to the day is also essential, with the top prioritised accommodation amenities across professions being a comfortable bed for leisure (67%) and business (56%) travel alike. Both business (35%) and leisure (37%) travellers view a hearty breakfast as essential for their accommodation.


Ripsy Bandourian, Senior Director of Product Development, at Booking.com for Business comments: “Having opportunities to travel for business is increasingly prized by working professionals, led by the millennial generation. And more than ever, business travellers want to maximise their time spent in a business destination for both work and leisure. At Booking.com for Business, we recognise that business travellers’ motivations and preferences for travel and accommodation vary greatly. That’s why we offer greater choice on where to stay with the widest range of unique accommodation options, coupled with the flexibility and technology to make and change bookings seamlessly and on-the-go.”


Research commissioned by Booking.com for Business and independently conducted among a sample of working professionals (full or part-time employed adults who have travelled internationally in the last 12 months, provided by Vitreous World. In total, 17,038 respondents were surveyed (1,000+ from the UK, US, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, India and Russia and 500+ each from Australia, Argentina, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand and Taiwan). Respondents completed an online survey from 3rd to 18th August, 2017.


About Booking.com


Established in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com B.V. has grown from a small Dutch start-up to one of the largest travel e-commerce companies in the world. Part of The Priceline Group (NASDAQ: PCLN), Booking.com now employs more than 15,000 employees in 199 offices in 70 countries worldwide.


With a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. At Booking.com, we connect travellers with the world’s largest selection of incredible places to stay, including everything from apartments, vacation homes, and family-run B&Bs to 5-star luxury resorts, tree houses and even igloos. The Booking.com website and mobile apps are available in over 40 languages, offer over 1.4 million properties, and cover more than 120,000 destinations in 227 countries and territories worldwide.


Each day, more than 1.5 million room nights are reserved on our platform. So whether travelling for business or leisure, customers can instantly book their ideal accommodation quickly and easily with Booking.com, without booking fees and backed up by our promise to price match. Via our customer experience team, customers can reach Booking.com 24/7 for assistance and support in 43 languages, any time of the day or night.

 

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About Booking.com for Business


Booking.com for business (www.booking.com/business) is a tailored offering specifically focused on business bookers and travellers to allow seamless booking and managing of business travel in the simplest, smartest and most rewarding way. More than one in five bookings made on Booking.com are made for business. Enhanced features for business travel on Booking.com highlight those places which are frequently used for business, tapping into its extensive review data to make easy work of finding those that are business traveller tested and approved. Booking.com for Business also provides a free tool for travel managers and assistants that allows booking on behalf of others. Booking.com for Business is a platform with enhanced functionality and reporting designed to meet the specific needs of corporate travel, while delivering the same ease as Booking.com enabling every business traveller to book with confidence, wherever their business takes them.