Research Shows Personalized Business Travel is Key to Recruitment and Retention

Staff Report

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

New research from for Business, the global leader in connecting business travelers 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 professionals (32%) feel their work and leisure time is very intertwined, in particular those in Agriculture and Farming (43%), Architecture and Design (43%), and Management Consultancy (42%). It's no surprise then that, regardless of industry, professionals try to make the most of a destination when traveling for business. Two thirds (69%) extend a business trip by a few hours or days to enjoy the city, while three quarters (73%) make time for leisure activities within a trip. Overall, 45% of professionals value this ability to blend business travel with leisure over traditional workplace benefits.

So what drives professionals to combine a business trip with leisure? The top two factors are based on the destination itself - 62% want to explore a city they haven't visited before, and 39% want to spend more time in a favorite location. But the results also unveil more subtle differences in how professions approach leisure time during a business trip:

    Reasons for combining           Global        Professional differences
    business with leisure         Professional

    Take advantage of a weekend                   Technology (46%)
    off in a business destination     39%         Banking and Finance (44%)
                                                  Social and Welfare (42%)

    Have time away from work to                   Hospitality and Leisure (43%)
    recharge                          38%         Medical and Health (42%)
                                                  Local or National Government (41%)

    Extend a work trip to make a                  Architects & Designers (30%)
    long-haul flight more             21%         Management Consultancy (26%)

    Save money with some travel                   Education (39%)
    expenses already covered          35%         Social & Welfare (39%)
                                                  Local or National Government (38%) 

For those who extend business trips for leisure time, the majority do so by 24 hours (41%), followed by 2-3 days (29%) and a few hours (24%). In terms of how people spend this off-the-clock time, the results paint an interesting picture of today's modern traveling professional. While more conventional activities, such as exploring well-known attractions (57%), trying local cuisine or dining at top restaurants (42%) and shopping (40%), emerged as the top three activities overall, there are interesting variations across professions:

  • Experiencing local art and culture is among the top three activities for those in Architecture and Design (45%), Management Consultancy (43%) and Education (42%)

  • Construction and Engineering (26%), Communications and Media (26%), Charity and NGO (25%) and Legal (25%) professionals are more likely than others to spend time with colleagues or clients outside of work

  • Social and Welfare (22%), Armed Forces (22%) and Agriculture and Farming (21%) professionals are more likely to sleep or rest during their leisure time

Professional preferences are reflected in leisure travel choices 

When looking across all professions, 70% of employees say making time for leisure travel gives them greater job satisfaction. What's more, for the majority (75%), leisure travel helps them to better manage work stress and pressure.

In looking at preferred holiday types, unique trends emerged across professionals:

    Top 5 preferred holidays, across all professions

    Ultimate relaxation              (48%)
    Family time                      (47%)
    Food and wine                    (32%)
    Activity or adventure            (30%)
    Romantic getaway                 (30%)
    Unique holidays, and the profession most likely to book them

    Road trips                                Armed Forces (20%)
    Festivals or events:          Media and Communications (30%)
    Outdoor (camping/wildlife):      Agriculture & Farming (26%)
    Food and Wine:                  Management Consultancy (24%)
    Wellness (yoga or spa retreat):      Social or Welfare (22%)

In terms of the most preferred accommodation for a holiday stay, a place with "local charm" is among the top three choices for all professionals (23%), in addition to mid-market options (31%) and places with all-inclusive deals (23%). Variations within select professions were revealed here as well:

    Holiday accommodation             Professions most likely to
       preferences                           stay there

    High-end or Luxury                Management Consultancy, and
                                      Banking and Finance - 20% each

    Home Away from Home               Architecture and Design - 23%
                                      Agriculture and Farming - 19%

    Boutique or Novelty               Architecture and Design - 20%
                                      Banking and Finance - 15%

    Self-catering / Fully serviced    Charity & NGO - 22%
                                      Art & Culture - 21%

    Unique Accommodation (such as a   Architecture and Design - 17%
    tent, boat or even treehouse)     Armed Forces - 10%

When considering what drives holiday accommodation choice, location is key across all professions, with 43% wanting to be close to local attractions, followed by comfort (34%) and fast and complimentary Wi-Fi (31%). Having a strong start to the day is also essential, with the top prioritized accommodation amenities across professions being a comfortable bed (62%) and a hearty breakfast (42%).

Ripsy Bandourian, Senior Director of Product Development, at 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 travelers want to maximize their time spent in a business destination for both work and leisure. At for Business, we recognize that business travelers' 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."