Business tourism is shifting rapidly thanks to changes in the world market and the development of new technologies aimed at improving the travel experience. Currently, most of the business trips are made by millennials and generation Z, and it is expected that by 2025, these groups will represent about 75% of the total workforce in the world with an average annual trip longer than in recent times (7.4 to 7.7 trips a year). These changes pose a real challenge for the industry, which must now adapt to the needs of this new business traveler if it wants to remain afloat in the years to come.
Since business travelers are used to traveling only with the essentials, their needs are completely different from those of the conventional traveler and can generally be classified into three categories: wellness, travel experience and innovation. Business tourism will expand considerably if it takes into account each and every one of these categories.
Need for Wellness
A healthy diet is essential to overcome jet lag and help you stay active and energized for all the events of the trip. Hotels and events must focus on serving healthy food and snacks, so that the health of the tourist is guaranteed during the trip and in the long term.
An exercise plan is a good way to ensure the well-being of the business traveler, whether they prefer to exercise indoors, like in a gym, or outdoors. When planning this, it is important to know all the options available for working out and align them with the traveler’s agenda.
Staying hydrated is mandatory, so a good option is to carry a reusable water bottle along the trip. Consistently buying water can represent a considerable expense, so having a reusable container is a good alternative to save money without compromising hydration.
Need for Travel Experience without Complications
Design reliable travel programs since business tourists usually waste a lot of time in procedures and passport verification. To ease this, several governments have implemented an early validation process with which business travelers can enter quickly, without wasting time at checkpoints.
Offer insurance for both the traveler’s physical integrity and their belongings. One of the main responsibilities of a company is to maintain the safety of the traveler throughout the journey. Faced with this situation, accommodation and event organizers must demonstrate that they have the tools to monitor and protect the traveler, as well as their luggage and other valuable possessions.
Connectivity: while business travelers go on trips for work-related matters, they must still maintain contact with relatives, colleagues and bosses. The main form of connectivity that accommodation and events can offer is free, unrestricted and decentralized Wi-Fi in all areas in which the traveler will move.
Having an office or room prepared to attend work tasks, especially when the business trip lasts many days and the traveler needs to continue working remotely. Offering an area with all the comforts to work is definitely a plus that many companies take into account when making a reservation. The needs for this workspace may vary, but generally, they include a desk, a conference room, good internet connection and office supplies, among other things.
Executive services that make travel easier and allow the traveler to focus solely on their work matters. These services include laundry, room service, transportation, etc.
Leisure and recreation: even though it is secondary for business tourism, the traveler wants to enjoy all the attractions that the destination can offer, ranging from dining events to city tours.
Need for Innovation
Apps that allow managing all the needs of the business traveler in a single platform. As mentioned before, this tourist profile needs to focus only on their work matters; therefore, it is increasingly common to see apps for booking accommodation, early checking-in, booking events, managing schedules and a list long of other things. Similarly, when it comes to international travel, many digital tools provide advice on the language and cultural elements that are of importance at the destination.
A state-of-the-art internet connection. While before it was mentioned that the business traveler needs a Wi-Fi connection, it is also necessary for accommodations and other spaces to offer cutting edge internet services, as is the case of the recently launched 5G technology with faster browsing speed.
Business travelers continue to demand personalized treatment within the sector, particularly because they do not share the same needs of conventional tourists. Statistics show that the better the travel experience, the more willing they are to make trips again, and this also increases their commitment to the company they work for.
In the same way, when agencies are in charge of the daily affairs, business travelers have a greater opportunity to focus on the matters for which they have traveled while improving their performance and learning, which is the real reason why companies send and finance those trips.