To travel is to live, discover and learn. This is accepted wisdom for the leisure traveler. Whether exploring ancient ruins in South America, or mixing with locals in South East Asia, the modern leisure traveler wants a profound experience. Sure, some might just want to relax poolside in Tenerife, still either way, the time away is designed to freshen the spirit.Business trips used to be swift and clinical—Get in, get out. Razzle them, dazzle them, then on to the next town like some victorious conqueror. No time to discover, no leisure in sight—save your living for the weekend.However, modern business travel bears little resemblance to this old fashioned picture of traveling for work, and has more in common with its leisure counterpart than ever before. For those constantly on the move, the experience should at a minimum be comfortable and convenient, but increasingly business travelers want more from their trips. With rapid changes in technology and infrastructure, business travel is becoming something entirely different.
- Location: being able to get to and fro without enduring a nervous breakdown is essential for the business traveler. There’s nothing worse than trekking halfway across a sprawling, unfamiliar city in a desperate race to be on time for an important meeting. An easy commute between business trip accommodation and the meeting point saves time and money, avoids stress, and is simply good business.
- Amenities: on a business trip, basics like good coffee, a nutritious breakfast, and a hot shower first thing in the morning, are simple but absolutely crucial elements to kick-start the day.
- Facilities on demand: whether it’s room service, in-room entertainment or places to relax and unwind, business travel accommodation needs to deliver a home-from-home experience for those on the road.
- Loyalty programs: if you’re a regular at a hotel or a frequent flyer for a certain airline, you expect a little kickback. Being able to travel with an extra sense of familiarity and comfort, with free upgrades, service perks, and lower costs, is a massive plus. Modern business travelers recognize the benefits—a recent survey by the Global Business Travel Associationfound that 49% of business travelers useloyalty programs.
- Connection: staying connected with HQ is crucial. In days gone by, a phone connection to the office would do. Nowadays good hotel wifi, a decent smartphone, and the ability to conference call are all indispensable.
- Value for money: without the might of a corporate entity behind them, most leisure travelers understandably prefer to spend less than their business counterparts. They spend more time searching for hotel deals and are more likely to opt for bargain Airbnb stays and use online booking toolsin their search, although businesses are increasingly embracing both.
- Reviews and recommendations: with the ease of immediate online reviewing, leisure travel is now hugely centered around ratings systems. Leisure travelers turn to sites such as TripAdvisor for feedback on hotels, restaurants, bars and things to do while on their travels. Also, reviews are a central part of Airbnb, which continues its stratospheric rise in the leisure accommodation market.
- Packages and special deals: leisure travelers are more likely to put their trip in the hands of hoteliers and travel agents, who can get creative and offer a range of packages with a wide array of leisure activities. Family outings, romantic getaways, walking tours, and tourist attraction visits, are just some of the aspects of leisure travel packages. Special deals give leisure travelers more of an incentive to book through an agency or hotel, instead of organizing their own trip.
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