A Travel Programme to recruit and retain

Traveling for work often isn’t relaxing. Even putting aside the time away from friends and family, waking up at 6.30am to jump on a flight, spending hours in a small space with noisy fellow travellers and arriving with jet lag to your meeting, just isn’t fun. The truth about travel is not the “chicken soup for the soul” it is sometimes made out to be.

A recent report by GBTA notes that last year, in the US alone, companies spent $424 billion on a whopping 514 million business trips for their employees.

Travelling, for a huge number of people is a significant part of their working life. And as their working life represents the largest part of their waking hours, Business travel is a real component part of life for lots of people.

When we consider the time cost in this context it’s not surprising that growing numbers of people are using business trips as an opportunity to do something more than. By adding on an extra night or a couple of leisure days, this new generation of business travellers carves out some time to actually enjoy the trip.

This new mixing of business and leisure travel has been christened with the rather clunky portmanteau — bleisure — and it has quickly become “a thing”. According to recent research, 20 percent of business travelers now take some time off while abroad. Among the most popular destinations for bleisure trips are Singapore, New York, London, Paris and San Francisco — all offering plenty of distractions to keep people busy with their evenings and to tempt them to stay on after the end of their official meetings.

When we consider this new trend in the context of the billions of dollars spent on business travel, we can foresee a new spin-off industry that’s about to explode. Business trips around the world are about to get a lot better, and companies that are proactively encouraging this can have an advantage to recruit and retain the best talent.

Imagine that you are proposed two job offers, for more-or-less the same account management position, which will involve a fair bit of European travel. One informs you of their (perfectly reasonable) T&E policy. The other tells you the class of travel and the hotel rate cap, but also tells you that you will have an additional budget and the companies blessing for extending your visits in order to gain better personal value from the business travel. The decision would be an easy one.

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