Support Skift’s Independent JournalismMake a Contribution Now
Some road warriors want to get in and get out. Others? They see a silver lining in the increasing amount of travel they’re doing for work–by considering turning it into a vacation.
Indeed, with 2014 U.S. business travel spending expected to grow 6.6% to $289.8 billion, according to the Global Business Travel Association, some executives said the biggest reason to maximize that increased time on the road is to discover the region.
The chance to explore the area topped the list of reasons road warriors surveyed would turn a business trip into a vacation. Next-Gen travelers especially view this opportunity as a good one, with 42.2% of those aged 18-24 saying it’s a reason to extend their trips. One-third, or 33.9% of travelers aged 35-44, surveyed said the same, but 23.2% also cited using the business expense to help cut overall costs as a reason to turn their trips into a vacation. Affluent business travelers also see the benefit of extending their stay, with 44.8% of those earning $75,000 to $99,000 saying they would do so to see the area, and 45.5% of those earning $100,000 to $149,000 saying they would do so to visit friends and family in the area. Of business travelers in the Midwest 40.9% said they would use the chance to explore the area as a reason to extend their stay.
Skift + American Express asked them — in an online survey — what reasons they would use to turn a business trip into a personal vacation. The results show that business travelers would do so to explore the area and, to a lesser extent, see friends and family nearby. We’ve outlined the top-level results of our survey below.
Important: This survey was commissioned by The Hilton HHonors (TM) Surpass® Card from American Express. This single-question survey was administered to the U.S. internet population through Google Consumer Surveys, with a qualifying question to target only business travelers. The methodology is explained here.
Topline Result, Chart below:
The desire to explore the area tops the list of reasons business travelers would extend their trips, with 32.7% of those surveyed saying it would influence their decision. The ability to see family and friends nearby was the reason given by 22.7% of business traveler surveyed; 16.2% said they’d extend their trips if they could use their business expense to cover costs, and 12.2% said limited vacation days would prompt them to maximize their business travel by turning their trips into a vacation.
Breakdown by Gender Charts below:
The reasons male and female business travelers gave for turning their trips into vacations skewed pretty evenly, with 32.8% of males and 34.2% of females choosing the opportunity to explore the destination and 21.9% and 22.1% choosing the opportunity to visit with family and friends, respectively. Using business expenses to cover costs was a factor for 17.9% of males and 13.7% of females surveyed; 12.3% of males and 11.4% of females said limited vacation days would be a reason to extend their stay.
Breakdown by Age, Charts below:
Business travelers of all ages said they would extend their trips to explore the surrounding area. Next-Gen travelers especially see the value in discovering the area, with 42.2% saying it’s the top reason to turn a business trip into a vacation. Of those aged 35-44, 23.2% said the opportunity to use business expense to cut overall costs would be a factor.
Breakdown by Region, Charts below:
Travelers in the Midwest overwhelmingly said they would use the opportunity to explore the area as a reason to extend their business trips, with 40.9% giving this as their top choice. Those in the South and Northeast, or 34.2% and 25.3% respectively, said the same, while business travelers in the West, or 28.3%, see the chance to visit family and friends as a top reason to extend their trips.
Breakdown by Region, Charts below:
Urban, suburban and rural business travelers agree that the chance to explore a new destination is the top factor in turning a trip into a vacation; those in rural areas leading the way with 37.5%.
Breakdown by Inferred Parental Status, Charts below:
Parents equally cited both limited vacation days (25%) and the desire to explore their destination (25%) as top reasons for extending their trips. The opportunity to explore the area topped the list of reasons of 24% of non-parents, while 20% cited the desire to use their business expenses to cover overall trip costs. Only 8% of non-parents said they would extend their trips to visit friends and family and another 8% said they would do so to make use of limited vacation days.
This content is created collaboratively in partnership with our sponsor, American Express.