Business travel

The experts at Morning Brew & Hilton — and you — weigh

Oh, the days of packing your bags, charging your devices, and heading to the airport for a few days of work on the road.

Morning Brew’s Creative Studio Vice President Elyssa Starkman fondly recalls her years traveling producing shows like America’s Next Top Model * humble boast * around the world and most recently by hosting face-to-face meetings with clients across the country. And then … the pandemic.

While many have returned for travel this summer, Morning Brew readers are eager to get back on the road to business. So with that in mind, we polled over 7,000 Mo fans – yes, you – to get your best business travel ideas. Coupled with insights from Global Head of Marketing and Loyalty at Hilton, Mark Weinstein, and our resident travel expert, Elyssa, we found out what you miss most about business travel (hello, spending time alone ) and what that might mean for the future.

Absence makes the heart more affectionate

One thing is VERY clear from our survey, the past two years have made most of us want to take a trip or two (or 50). The same goes for business travel. Weinstein puts it best: “Humans have an innate need to connect with each other,” and the failure to do so has highlighted the fact that there is no replacement for the value of the human being. connection in person.

Morning Brew readers said the same, with 87% of survey respondents sharing that they sometimes or outright miss the jump from town to town in pursuit of their business hopes and dreams. Additionally, 40% of those surveyed said they would choose a job that allowed them to travel over another.

As a creative leader, Starkman believes that being in a new environment helps you think differently and “learn more about people when they’re outside of their comfort zone, which isn’t really anything.” that we can do with video ”.

54% of you mentioned that the importance of building IRL relationships becomes more evident as the pandemic continues, which makes sense as sales calls and conversation strategy are almost always more effective in person.

“More sense to move forward. “

With video calling being our MO for so long, business travel in the future can be seen less of a chore and more of a treat. With 48% of readers saying loyalty program points and rewards were the things they expected most when traveling, it’s clear the perks will have even more oomph as business travel picks up. .

This also includes the type of business trip that does not include jumping on an airplane. As Weinstein puts it, “Business travel is special, whether you’re driving a few hours or catching your red-eyed halfway around the world, and it can be even more meaningful to move forward when the going gets tough. people get together in-person. ”Starkman, for example, loves to organize work sessions in hotel lobbies, believing that they take you to a new environment and a new state of mind, even if you don’t leave. the city.

But, the desire for distant travel is still there. Starkman has planned a multi-day off-site in a warm and fun location as a way to establish a level strategy for the coming year as a group. (As a member of this team, we can’t wait).

Organizing these events in desirable locations is part of a trend that we believe will continue. During the pandemic, hotels continue to see high demand in destinations with warmer climates like Vegas and Orlando, along with an interest in outdoor venues, Weinstein says, and increased interest from business travelers. in secondary markets, such as Indianapolis and Atlanta.

Take work out of work travel

The infusion of business travel with leisure activities – say it with us, bleisure– was popular before the pandemic, but could become more and more the norm, as travelers make the most of these times to work from virtually anywhere.

According to our survey, this includes things like eating at local restaurants (63%), exploring the city (61%), exercising (43%), and spending time alone and sweet (42%). Many respondents also viewed business travel as a way to engage in personal well-being, with 38% extending travel for leisure and 31% seeking hotels with spas / wellness centers. Plus, many hotels offer home workouts in the hotel room, with programs like Hilton’s Five Feet to Fitness, which offers fully-equipped workout spaces just five feet from the bed, or even rooftop yoga classes.

Getting the most out of points and loyalty is also something our readers are keen to come back to, with 78% agree or strongly agree that using the points and rewards earned on business travel is a huge plus. Many readers will be relieved to learn that Hilton Honors took steps such as extending expiration dates and point status when the pandemic hit – and they recently extended those expiration dates and rolled out changes. program programs in 2022 that provide greater flexibility and value for its more than 118 million Hilton Honors Members. * Phew. * BTW: If you are not already a Hilton Honors member, membership is free and new members can earn up to 5,000 bonus points until the end of the year.

Transformed for the present and the future

Welcome to the new version of WFH: Work From Hotel.

Its success, however, depends on increased innovation, which Weinstein notes, “The Greatest Lessons We Have Learned [during the pandemic is] that innovation has a great impact in good times and in bad times. We have always had our customers at the heart of everything we do, and integrating physical and digital innovation is a priority for us. With 47% of readers saying equipment was of the utmost importance, these innovations are clearly here to stay.

To attract new FMH travelers, hotels have adapted by offering ideal workspaces and access to local coworking spots. Hilton, for example, has offered hotel rooms to customers to increase the efficiency of their workday, and several hotels have offered offers that allow professionals to stay, work and play for an extended period of time. These innovations, along with the increase in contactless everything, like check-in / check-out, payments, choosing your room, and using your phone as a room key or remote control, will reinvent the travel experience of Canada. ‘today and tomorrow.

In a nutshell, business travel is here to stay, and we all really want it according to our survey. But the pandemic has made us reconsider its focus and has prompted hotels like Hilton to rethink their role in travelers’ lives, placing even more importance on meeting their emotional and functional needs and wants, according to Weinstein.

It can be summed up in three words: quality rather than quantity, as the opportunities to travel become more meaningful and businesses use these moments more intentionally. And there’s a very, very high chance that this will have a lasting impact on what business travel will look like for years to come.

Travel has its advantages. Especially when using the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® card. New Surpass® card members can earn up to 180,000 bonus points, the equivalent of 4 FREE nights at over 4,600 Hilton hotels worldwide, by earning 130,000 bonus points after spending $ 2,000 in purchases during the first 3 months of card membership and 50,000 additional bonus points. after spending $ 10,000 on purchases in the first 6 months. You can also earn Hilton Honors Gold status (hello free room upgrades!) AND earn bonus points at places like supermarkets, gas stations, and restaurants in the United States. So, yes, it’s time to start planning that trip. Conditions apply.

Are you a business owner? Apply for the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card and use your card to earn points on your business purchases.

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