SURVEY: Road warriors would extend business trips for leisure, given the right incentives

A new survey shows that three out of four U.S. business travelers would prolong a work-related trip by adding some leisure days if a hotel offered a discount or additional nights to encourage staying on.

The online survey of 2,000 American consumers by COLLOQUY, a leading provider of loyalty marketing research, also showed that the same percentage of road warrior business travelers, 76 percent, would extend a trip for leisure if a hotel offered the chance to have a friend or family member join at a discounted rate.

The extended-stay incentive insights are part of a broader survey in which COLLOQUY asked 2,000 Americans nationwide about travel habits, new technology, social media and loyalty rewards. The complete survey results are analyzed in the report Travel and Loyalty: On a Journey Together. The report subtitle is Want to Capture Today’s Traveler Spend? Offer Personalized Rewards, Thoughtful and Next-Level Mobile Technology and Frictionless Customer Experiences.

“There’s tremendous potential to generate additional revenue from business travelers by encouraging them to stay for a leisure component,” Jeff Berry, COLLOQUY’s editor in chief and author of the travel report, said. “They’re open to the idea; the trick is creating an incentive for them to add more personal time.”

COLLOQUY’s travel habits research also includes a look at how millennial consumers prefer to travel, which was also the topic of an April article published on TheTravelPro.

Born between 1981 and 1997, the key demographic is significantly more attracted to destinations with cultural or historical significance than the general traveling public (76 percent vs. 63 percent). Of millennials, 58 percent prefer large metropolitan areas compared to 45 percent of the general public. Access to adventures like scuba diving and hiking are also higher on their lists, at 59 percent compared to 45 percent, as are festivals or regional events (66 percent vs. 49 percent).

The survey also reveals other key findings.

Business travelers rely on mobile devices at home and on the road
Travelers rely on mobile devices at home, on the road
Nearly three out of four Americans - 74 percent - said having a unique experience is the most important reason for taking a vacation, topping rest and relaxation at 69 percent. Men placed more importance on vacationing for R&R than women (72 percent vs 67 percent).

Perhaps surprisingly, men placed more value on romantic travel surroundings than women (46 percent vs 41 percent).

While some studies have shown that a distinct minority of travelers actually use their accrued loyalty points to pay for all or part of a trip, the COLLOQUY study revealed that 19 percent of consumers – nearly one in five – said they would scrap their travel plans upon encountering add-on charges when booking with loyalty points.

Whether at home or on the road, travelers rely on their mobile devices. Seventy-three percent said they tap mobile devices to check hotel reservation details, while 71 percent use mobile devices to navigate a downtown area, 66 percent use it to find attractions and 54 percent use it to search phrases in local languages.

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Photo by Carl Dombek
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