Many companies shifting focus to make business travel more pleasurable
Monday, November 5, 2012
The adage that advises people not to mix business with pleasure could soon find itself somewhat outdated. According to the latest trends observed in the business travel sector, frequent fliers are seeking out services that will make their trip more comfortable. From investing in executive-class flights to choosing to stay in serviced apartments and corporate housing, the business travel landscape is changing.
Look on the bright side
According to a recent press release, many companies see the growth potential in offering frequent business travelers a more comfortable experience, and are adding services and amenities to capitalize on executives' desire for a more pleasurable business travel trip.
At the recent annual convention of the Global Business Travel Association, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, told attendees that business travel remains a preferable option for many executives, despite the prevalence and convenience of digital communication technology. However, while Clinton may be right, the needs and expectations of today's business travelers have changed substantially from just a few years ago.
While some hotel chains are now offering services such as sneakers and t-shirts included in the price of their stay for executives who want to maintain personal exercise regimens on the road, these services pale in comparison to the comfort afforded by serviced apartments. While a chain hotel may not be able to offer the same home-away-from-home atmosphere of corporate apartments, developments in the industry do signify a transitional shift in how travel service providers see the needs of their target demographics.
Despite the prolonged economic difficulties facing the nation and the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, demand for business travel is likely to increase into next year, albeit more slowly than previously anticipated. According to data released by the U.S. Travel Association (USTA), business travel in the U.S. is expected to increase to more than 464 million trips next year, almost 4.4 million trips more than this year, reports Business Travel News.
"Businesses continue to have a heightened focus on the value and bottom-line benefits of travel," said David Huether, senior vice president of research and economics at the USTA, as quoted by the news source. "The slight increase in business travel next year continues to reflect demand for face-to-face meetings that drive growth and productivity."