When I reflect on my most notable travel experiences, many of them occurred on business trips, not vacations.
Attending a majlis in Kuwait and a tribal durbar in Ghana were moments that probably would not have come my way as a tourist: visiting a country with purpose, to meet and discuss with the people who live there, can provide a deeper engagement than a passing stay in a hotel or resort.
The research carried out recently for Amadeus suggested that appropriate combinations of business and pleasure may play a growing role in travel. Employers are concerned to ensure the wellbeing of their staff, travel providers are keen to ensure repeat business – and business travellers want new experiences whilst they are away.
Our survey showed that 71% of business travellers – compared with only 60% of tourists – want a complete contrast to their daily life whilst they’re away. This may suggest a trend for hotels which are true to their surroundings with concierge support to enable easy evening encounters with local life. It’s suggested that hotels may become community hubs – with local artists and artisans demonstrating their skills.
All this will have to develop in parallel with tighter travel management, of course. No organisation wants to see spurious meetings in exotic locations, and business tourism will only grow if employers can be confident their tracking data demonstrates it’s not being abused. As ever, the growing availability of detailed data and the ability to process that into information is key.
This post is the last in this series looking at our report on collaborative travel. If this subject is of interest, please do look at the full report, and why not sign up for regular updates from this blog? We publish regularly on both the present and the future of travel technology – so do keep in touch and check back regularly.