There are plenty of new travel trends gaining momentum in 2017, and among those is group travel for businesses. There is a new face for corporate group travel and corporate business travel and it is a key element for success for businesses and travel providers, too.
Savvy companies and destination management organizations need to know which are the ‘hits’ and which are the ‘misses’.
GROUP TRAVEL FOR BUSINESS ‘HITS’
Experiential Team Building
Businesses are looking for more destination-focused activities for team building. They are leaving the meetings room for meetings, and taking advantage of the location rather than strictly on-property amenities in order to provide a unique experience.
Examples include paddle boarding, hiking, golfing, kayaking, river rafting, and fishing excursions, or other activities based on location and what is feasible and available in the area. Other unique ideas include biking, Segway tours, outdoor recreation vehicles for activities, and more.
Wellness Corporate Travel
Many corporations are promoting health and wellness. A healthier employee staff is a happier and more productive staff. Businesses are not just promoting employees taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle, but they are rewarding them as well.
Health is the new addiction, and corporate group travel planners want to ensure they can jump onboard with this trend when they are on the road. This desire for healthy eating combines with a thirst for experiential travel – meaning unique culinary offerings for meetings and coffee breaks as an opportunity to wow and inspire their employees. In addition, they are looking to also accommodate employees with dietary menus that are gluten-free (61 percent) and vegetarian (32 percent).
GROUP TRAVEL FOR BUSINESS ‘MISSES’
Among the losing group travel trends for businesses – the traditional formal event.
Even business travelers are going casual, with formal lunches and dinners on the way out. They are being replaced with casual receptions and beach barbecues or clambakes over events with formal seating and dress-code requirements.
Taking the Meeting Beyond The Boardroom
Most corporate travel planners are now looking for unique and often intricate venues that aren’t always in the actual meeting space. Rooms with a good view can make a good location for break-out sessions. In addition, local attractions and venues such as historic buildings, historic mansions, museums, upscale guesthouses, luxury boats and botanical gardens – even air and space museums – can take the place of a traditional meeting room.
Travel planners, destinations, the hospitality industry and others involved with business group travel are wise to look at ways to accommodate businesses and satisfy these new trends in this group travel segment – because it is on pace to grow at a faster rate than any others. Doing so make it a much more successful 2017 travel season than some would have you think!