· Employees see business travel as opportunities to achieve their professional growth ambitions: 37% seek inspiration for their work, and 36% look to learn a new skill
· Over half (51%) say adding leisure time to a business trip makes them more successful in their business meetings
· New Booking.com for Business research reveals the commonalities and variations in how employees across professions value travel and its impact on success at work
Business travel is valuable, if not essential, to achieving professional success today, not only because of its positive impact on businesses but also for the opportunities it offers employees to expand their horizons and reach their fullest potential. Six in ten (60%) working professionals globally say experiencing new cultures and destinations adds value to their job, a sentiment echoed most by those in the Travel and Tourism (69%), Management Consultancy (68%) and Architecture and Design (65%) sectors.
These are among the top findings of new research from Booking.com for Business, the global leader in connecting business travellers with the widest choice of places to stay. Conducted with more than 17,000 working professionals from 24 countries, the research reveals the extent to which they view business travel as essential to professional growth and business success, including key differences across professions.
Employees use business travel as opportunities for professional growth
When asked what they most hope to achieve when travelling for business, nearly half (46%) of working professionals cite growing their company’s business. But delving further into individual professions reveals a series of personal and professional growth ambitions:
· Social and Welfare (45%), Arts and Culture (43%), Education (41%) and Communications and Media (41%) professionals wish to gain inspiration to apply to their work (vs. 37% professional average)
· Half (50%) of Charity and NGO employees seek to spend time with colleagues or clients and strengthen professional relationships (vs. 36% professional average)
· The top goal for Armed Forces and Education professionals (41% each) is to learn a new skill they can apply to their job (vs. 36% professional average)
· Understanding a new culture and its business impact is the top goal for Travel & Tourism professionals (39%), and also an aspiration for Management Consultants (37%) and Architects and Designers (36% vs. 30% professional average)
Across professions, travel also has a broader impact on business success
Half of working professionals (51%) say that being able to take a few off-the-clock hours during a business trip to enjoy the destination improves their performance in business meetings, a sentiment echoed most by Management Consultants (58%).and Architects and Designers (57%).
Despite the benefits of modern technology and real-time communications, a real business case for in-person meetings still exists. Globally, two-thirds (66%) of working professionals agree that travelling to meet clients or colleagues face-to-face is essential to business success, rising in importance for those in Management Consultancy (78%), Manufacturing (71%), Construction and Engineering (70%) and Agriculture and Farming (70%).
Business-ready accommodation is key to boosting business trip potential
Choosing the right accommodation plays a critical role in maximising the potential of a business trip. Six in ten professionals (60%) agree that travel and accommodation options that cater specifically to the business traveller are no longer optional, but essential.
A comfortable bed and strong Wi-Fi signal top the list of business accommodation must-haves (52% each), followed by a hearty breakfast (38%) and free transportation or shuttle service (27%). The choice of accommodation is also strongly driven by location, with convenient access to meetings (47%) and placement in the city centre (29%) identified as top priorities for overnight stays. With Booking.com for Business, properties that have been favourably reviewed by prior business travellers and tick the boxes for these important business travel essentials are surfaced with priority in the search results.
When it comes to the most-booked business stay types across professions:
· Architects and Designers are more likely to choose a boutique hotel (23% vs. 13% professional average) or a hi-tech, gadget-filled place to stay (24% vs. 18% average)
· Perhaps due to increased scrutiny over corporate travel budgets, only 20% opt for ‘high end, luxury’ accommodation, driven by Management Consultants (26%) and Banking and Finance professionals (24%)
· Those in Agriculture and Farming are more likely to opt for a place that exhibits ‘local charm’ (19% vs 13% average)
By making it easy to search, find and select accommodation from the wide variety of business-ready stays available today, Booking.com for Business helps connect business travellers with their ideal place to stay – whether that reflects their professional preferences, business trip objectives or overall lifestyle.
Ripsy Bandourian, Senior Director of Product Development at Booking.com for Business said;
“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. Regardless of profession, today’s business travellers are savvier about the value up for grabs, both for their companies and for themselves. Where they choose to stay is crucial in realising that value, with today’s business travellers seeking places that align with their specific, priority needs when it comes to location, flexibility and certain amenities”
“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. Corporate travellers can enjoy flexibility and freedom to personalise and maximise a business stay experience, all while still working within a company’s policy.”