Business travellers increasingly want to bring their family on corporate trips

New research from ACTE Global and American Express Global Business Travel (GBT), highlights demand for family-friendly corporate travel is on the rise in Asia-Pacific. In fact, thirty-eight percent of travel managers across APAC have reported an increase in enquiries about bringing family on a business trip.

GBT Vice-President & Regional General Manager, Australia & Southeast Asia Jo Sully said: “Life on the road for frequent business travellers can be isolating, and put strain on family life. So it’s unsurprising that we’re witnessing a steady rise in the number of requests to bring family along when travelling for work.”

“Having family with you on a business trip can make the journey more enjoyable and reduce feelings of disconnection. Of course, it’s essential that family time doesn’t distract or hinder the business objectives of the trip – and with simple time management this can be managed well, to great effect.”

ACTE Global executive director Greeley Koch said: “Business travel can be exhausting and stressful, but pursuing a collaborative process can go a long way towards supporting healthy, rested and productive employees. A two-way dialogue that addresses both employee and employer requirements, however, can actually help all parties meet their objectives. In this case, compromise need not leave both sides unhappy.”

The study also revealed that 47 percent of travel managers in APAC reported an increase in enquiries about flexibility to mix business and leisure, otherwise known as ‘bleisure’. Furthermore, 29 percent of travel managers in APAC reported an increase in concerns about work-life balance, highlighting the importance for employers to review ways to appropriately support business travellers.

Additional findings from the research:

Safety and security remain top priorities

Further driving the need for dialogue and collaboration is ongoing traveller concern about safety and security. The global travel landscape remains volatile and uncertain amid shifting geopolitical tensions, devastating natural disasters and an increasingly complex web of travel security policies worldwide. Nearly half (46%) of travel managers say they’ve seen an increase in enquiries about personal safety – down from the 51 percent who reported an increase in October 2017 and the 65 percent who did so in 2016. While the rate of growth may be slowing, it remains significant, demanding that travel managers grapple with an ever-evolving threat environment.

Adapting to new technologies

While increasing innovation and technological change may be creating instability in the corporate travel arena, it is also driving the evolution of travel programme development, ensuring travel policies continue to meet the needs and requirements of modern business travellers. The study revealed 70 percent of travel managers in APAC have reported an increase in requests for improved traveller technology tools, and 76 percent plan to introduce, or have introduced, apps for booking travel.

Jo added, “Business travel continues to be a key driver of growth for many companies worldwide. The people within organisations that are conducting frequent business travel are providing a key role in overall growth, and it’s important for companies to provide them with the support they need to remain productive and motivated. It’s important for companies to maintain a regular and open dialogue with their travellers to ensure company policies and tools remain appropriate and relevant.”