RESEARCH: Family friendly corporate travel on the rise in APAC

Thirty-eight per cent of travel managers across Asia-Pacific have reported an increase in enquiries about bringing family on a business trip, according to a new research from ACTE Global (Association of Corporate Travel Executives), in collaboration with American Express Global Business Travel (GBT).

The study, “Balancing Business Travel Tools & Policy for the Traveller Experience,” also revealed that 47 per cent of travel managers in APAC reported an increase in enquiries about flexibility to mix business and leisure.

Furthermore, 29 per cent 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.

Jo Sully, GBT’s Vice-President & Regional General Manager, Australia & Southeast Asia, 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.”

Greeley Koch, executive director, ACTE Global, 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.”

Additional findings from the research include:

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 per cent) of travel managers say they’ve seen an increase in enquiries about personal safety – down from the 51 per cent who reported an increase in October 2017 and the 65 per cent 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 per cent of travel managers in APAC have reported an increase in requests for improved traveller technology tools, and 76 per cent 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.”