We look at the reasons why an increasing number of companies are formalising “bleisure” travel policies and the benefits it can bring to your clients.
Travelling for work can be a tiring and stressful experience, especially if time is in short supply and schedules are booked with little downtime for staff. It can be disheartening to fly to a conference on the other side of the world, yet see nothing more than an airport lounge, the inside of a taxi, the conference hall and a hotel room. Instead of being a perk of the job, travel becomes another stress factor: tiring, body-clock disrupting and inconvenient.
As a Travel Counsellor, you’ll be fully equipped to provide both corporate and leisure travel, enabling you to not only help your clients give their employees the best of both worlds, but also provide you with the opportunity to expand your own business.
1. Millennials Are Embracing “Bleisure” Travel
A new generation of workers are transforming the way companies organise business travel, with an increasing numbers of business travellers who are keen to explore international destinations. This is creating a new demand to extend trips over weekends or days booked as holiday.
2. Wide Appeal
However, it isn’t just millennials who are actively seeking out “bleisure” travel opportunities; a recent survey showed 60% of business travellers are more likely to take business trips today than they were five years ago.
3. Reduce Stress and Create Opportunities for Downtime
Travel can be tiring, especially to long-haul destinations and for frequent travellers. By giving employees the opportunity – or encouragement – to combine business travel with leisure time helps to prevent burnout and reduce stress levels for travellers.
4. Deepen Client Relationships
Allowing travellers to spend more time in a destination where they are visiting clients gives your clients employees an opportunity to really explore and understand local customs, culture and sensitivities – and perhaps even language. This, in turn, creates the conditions for improved insight and deeper client relationships.
5. Strengthen Team Building
When employees spend vacation time close to other global offices or sites, it gives them greater opportunity to spend time with international colleagues. In today’s world of off-shoring and right-shoring, this can be a vital source of team building.
6. Create a More Authentic Travel Experience for Employees
When your clients employees are able to experience different cultures and locations with the help of local guides, whether fellow colleagues or clients, they are able to hook into local culture much more immediately than they would sticking to the tourist sites. This helps to create a more memorable and authentic travel experience that will add to their enjoyment and the benefits of the trip.
7. Reduce Your Corporate Travel Expenditure
It can often be cost advantageous to book travel at weekends and off-peak hours rather than the peak travel rates that corporate travel normally incurs. So, by offering employees some flexibility in how long they stay before and after their business commitments, your clients can save considerably on travel costs.
8. Give Your Clients Employees Additional Benefits
Alternatively, instead of cashing in on savings from reduced off-peak fares, your clients could operate a cost-neutral scheme that allows their employees to put savings on fares towards the cost of extra nights of accommodation or entertainment or attraction tickets. This effectively creates a cost-neutral incentives package. It also gives employees a greater sense of control over their work-life balance – a powerful motivating tool.
9. Enlightened “Bleisure” Travel Policies Attract the Best Talent
By formalising “bleisure” policies, you can enhance your client’s employee incentives policy and make their business more attractive to new recruits in order to attract the best talent.
10. Close Alignment with Travel Policies
If you work with your client to draw up achievable policies, everyone knows where they stand, they can advertise them to their staff and applicants, and you’ll be in a good position to confidently and accurately enforce the rules while helping your clients’ employees making the most of their travel itineraries.