Today's new road warriors are learning to stop and smell the roses.
Gone are the days when busy business travellers wear their marathon 48-hour business trips like a badge of honour. The latest crop of executives taking to the skies are seeking more balance, according to Vision Travel, the largest Canadian-owned travel management company.
Bleisure travel, the practice of tacking on a few days of leisure on a business trip, is on the rise in Canada, according to Vision Travel, Canada's largest corporate travel company.
"It's an interesting shift. While seasoned Canadian business travellers still prefer to do their business and head home, younger executives and more moderate business travellers are really taking the opportunity to get to know their destinations and soak in a bit of culture," said Stephen Smith, Vice President Marketing & Communications.
A recent Google Travel Study found 57% of US business travellers plan to extend their trips for leisure, and Vision is confident that this trend will continue on to become the norm. "Companies are starting to relax their corporate travel policies to accommodate these mini-vacations as a way to encourage more work/life balance," said Smith.
Vision Travel says most Canadian bleisure travellers extend their trips by one to two days, and often when travelling to longer-haul international destinations, particularly in Europe or Asia. Sports are also another motivator to extend a business trip. "If you're on a trip to a great sporting city like Boston, Chicago or New York, you can always catch a world-class sports team playing. You can even use that time to bond with business contacts who share your interests," Smith added.
Travel suppliers are offering promotions and loyalty programs aimed at converting business trips into leisure stays. Hyatt Hotels for example, offers a "Gold Passport" program giving frequent users exclusive benefits and free nights. "Getting the chance to extend a business trip really appeals to Canadians because we're avid travellers to begin with. Employees value it as a benefit, which creates a lot of goodwill for the company as well." said Smith.
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