Business travel is valuable, if not essential, to achieving professional success today, not only because of its positive impact on businesses but also for the opportunities it offers employees to expand their horizons and reach their fullest potential.
Six in ten (60%) working professionals globally say experiencing new cultures and destinations adds value to their job, a sentiment echoed most by those in the Travel and Tourism (69%), Management Consultancy (68%) and Architecture and Design (65%) sectors.
These are among the top findings of new research from Booking.com for Business. Conducted with more than 17,000 working professionals from 24 countries, the research reveals the extent to which they view business travel as essential to professional growth and business success, including key differences across professions.
Employees use business travel as opportunities for professional growth
When asked what they most hope to achieve when traveling for business, nearly half (46%) of working professionals cite growing their company’s business.
But delving further into individual professions reveals a series of personal and professional growth ambitions. For instance, Social and Welfare (45%), Arts and Culture (43%), Education (41%) and Communications and Media (41%) professionals wish to gain inspiration to apply to their work (vs. 37% professional average).
Half (50%) of Charity and NGO employees seek to spend time with colleagues or clients and strengthen professional relationships (vs. 36% professional average).
The top goal for Armed Forces and Education professionals (41% each) is to learn a new skill they can apply to their job (vs. 36% professional average).
Understanding a new culture and its business impact is the top goal for Travel & Tourism professionals (39%), and also an aspiration for Management Consultants (37%) and Architects and Designers (36% vs. 30% professional average).
Across professions, travel also has a broader impact on business success
Half of working professionals (51%) say that being able to take a few off-the-clock hours during a business trip to enjoy the destination improves their performance in business meetings, a sentiment echoed most by Management Consultants (58%) and Architects and Designers (57%).
Despite the benefits of modern technology and real-time communications, a real business case for in-person meetings still exists.
Globally, two-thirds (66%) of working professionals agree that traveling to meet clients or colleagues face-to-face is essential to business success, rising in importance for those in Management Consultancy (78%), Manufacturing (71%), Construction and Engineering (70%) and Agriculture and Farming (70%).
Business-ready accommodation is key to boosting business trip potential
Choosing the right accommodation plays a critical role in maximizing the potential of a business trip. Six in ten professionals (60%) agree that travel and accommodation options that cater specifically to the business traveller are no longer optional, but essential.
A comfortable bed and strong Wi-Fi signal top the list of business accommodation must-haves (52% each), followed by a hearty breakfast (38%) and free transportation or shuttle service (27%).
The choice of accommodation is also strongly driven by location, with convenient access to meetings (47%) and placement in the city center (29%) identified as top priorities for overnight stays.