“I’m extremely blessed because I travel extensively for my work but I always try to incorporate a bit of leisure with my business.”
Who are Typical Business Travelers?
Business travel, according to Wikipedia, is ¨travel undertaken for work or business purposes. As opposed to other types of travel, such as for leisure purposes or regularly commuting between one’s home and workplace.¨
Some typical business travel activities include (also from Wikipedia):
- visiting customers or suppliers,
- meetings at other company locations,
- professional development,
- attending a conference,
- market or promote a new or an existing product,
- visiting the project site for evaluation,
- strengthening relationships with customers,
- strengthening employees’ loyalty to the business,
- building new partnerships,
- networking, and
- identifying trends and new markets.
Mixing Business and Leisure Travel
Increasingly, business travelers extend their visits to do leisure travel activities (i,e., sightseeing, shopping, etc.). More and more businesspeople also bring their family along on their business trips.
Sometimes, business travelers share some of the costs of leisure travel with their employers. Companies often agree to share costs because:
- Longer stays can result in lower airfares. (Airlines charge more for flights that depart when convenient for businesspeople. If employees stay longer, they can leave on a cheaper, leisure travel-oriented flights).
- Extended stays help retain employees.
How Does the Travel Industry Attract Business People?
The travel industry works hard to attract business people. Here is a list of things that the industry knows are essential to attract business travelers:
- A convenient location: Hotels must be close by places where businesspeople attend conventions and are likely to have business meetings. Airlines plan non-stop flights between business and convention hubs because business people are willing to pay for convenient transportation.
- Easy access to communication networks: Business people depend on high-speed internet connections. Nothing can kill a business-oriented hotel faster than if their clients cannot open and send large files, have video conferences, etc.
- Strong loyalty programs: Business travelers are more likely to use the same hotel chain, airline, or rental car company than leisure travelers. 65% of business travelers belong to a hotel loyalty program, according to a Google study. Plus, a much higher percentage of business than leisure travelers participate in Frequent Flyer programs.
Why are businesses so attached to particular travel brands? Because businesses:
- Want to book travel products quickly and efficiently;
- Use travel brands that they trust will provide their employees with a comfortable stay; and
- Appreciate travel providers that offer exclusive deals, free upgrades, and special amenities to loyal customers.
- Free amenities. Business-oriented hotels provide amenities like continental breakfasts, business centers, in-room coffee makers, and irons to help businesspeople prepare quickly for their meetings. They also ensure that their rooms are carefully designed so that businesspeople rest well. (Good lighting, comfortable temperature, and bedding). Airlines provide first and business class services and clubs to attract business people, as well.