Business Travel: Not Strictly Business
Author: David Juman
Published: March 22, 2012
A new report from PhoCusWright reveals that U.S. business travelers mix business and leisure travel more often than some companies and travel managers might expect. According to PhoCusWright's U.S. Business Traveler: Managed, Unmanaged and Rogue (a Global Edition publication), nearly half (47%) of business travelers add leisure extensions to at least one of their trips every year. And while unmanaged travelers are slightly more likely to mix business with pleasure (53%), about four in 10 managed travelers (39%) commonly blur the line between work and play. The popularity of this behavior reveals that understanding the business/leisure crossover is key to effectively addressing the full range of business travelers' wants and needs.
Based on a comprehensive survey of more than 2,000 business travelers in the U.S., PhoCusWright's U.S. Business Traveler: Managed, Unmanaged and Rogue explores the behavior of managed and unmanaged business travelers, and provides an overview of managed travel policy structure, flexibility and compliance. The report highlights fundamental similarities and differences between the leisure and business travel planning process.
"Travelers' perspectives shift the moment they decide to tack on a few extra days to enjoy themselves," says Carroll Rheem, director, research at PhoCusWright. "The information they look for and where they seek it often shifts as they re-prioritize elements, like the appeal of the pool and how close a hotel is to local attractions. It isn't hard to imagine why leisure extensions are a significant driver of rogue behavior. Managed travelers often act out of policy to make the most of their presence in an appealing destination and a 'free' flight."
PhoCusWright's U.S. Business Traveler: Managed, Unmanaged and Rogue offers detailed analysis across a broad range of topics, including:
- General business traveler behavior, including trip frequency, purpose and duration; travel spend; and travel components purchased (air, hotel, car rental and rail travel)
- The impact of video conferencing and other virtual meeting technology on certain types of business trips – training, conferences and trade shows, sales/client meetings, etc.
- Business travel policies – structure, compliance with managed travel programs – and key drivers of rogue behavior
- The travel planning processes for managed and unmanaged business travelers, including information sources, booking channels and factors that influence decision making
- Points of differentiation between business and leisure travel planning