Survey: Business Travel, Bleisure Surge

According to the latest “Spring 2023 Travelers Sentiment and Safety Survey” by Global Rescue, business travel is set to surge and “bleisure” travel has taken off. The travel risk and crisis response provider conducted a survey of over 1,700 of its current and former members between April 25–30, 2023. The respondents exposed a range of behaviors, attitudes and preferences regarding international and domestic travel.

Seventy percent of business travelers responding said their work-related travel will match or exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2023. The majority of business travelers taking the survey (65 percent) will include “bleisure” travel, adding extra days to their business trip for personal or leisure activities.

More than half of responding business travelers (55 percent) will travel both domestically and internationally for business compared to a year ago when nearly three-out-of-four respondents (72 percent) had not traveled abroad for business or did not have plans to do so.

“The business traveler mindset has changed, and employer attitudes have shifted, too. Face-to-face meetings are more effective at establishing and maintaining relationships than virtual meetings. It’s no surprise that domestic and international work-related travel is rising along with ‘bleisure’ travel,” said Dan Richards, CEO of The Global Rescue Companies.

But as business travel increases, so do the challenges facing employers, especially following the pandemic and the rise of remote work. “The biggest management challenge in this evolving environment will be how duty of care plays a role in protecting a location-independent workforce. They have to ask themselves if a set of rules or policies designed to maintain their health, safety and well-being while working is in place,” Richards said.

The overwhelming majority of business travelers surveyed (72 percent) said they do not have or do not know whether they have a duty of care policy in place. The majority of the 28 percent of business travelers who said they have duty of care provisions in place have trouble listing what the plan includes. More than half said their policy includes pre-trip destination planning and health alerts. However, fewer than half said security, travel tracking and alerts were available during the trip.

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