With the arrival of the first peak travel season since the beginning of the pandemic, a new survey commissioned by Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts—part of IHG Hotels & Resorts and one of the world’s largest premium hotel brands—which polled over 1,200 U.S. consumers, reveals Millennials (25 to 44 years old) (65%) and Gen Z (18 to 24 years old) (59%) consumers are more inclined to work for a company that offers frequent travel or flexible (work + leisure) blended travel possibilities as a perk.
“As U.S. employers struggle to fill vacancies, there is pressure on them to attract and retain the best talent,” says Ginger Taggart, vice president of brand management at Global Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts. “We have been playing in this space for many years, and we closely monitored evolving work and leisure trends. The shift since the pandemic has accelerated dramatically. … People want in-person connections, and they also want the space to satisfy demands outside of the traditional 9-5 to enhance their well-being.”
Employers looking to retain or attract talent must act to harness this increased desire for blended travel as, despite the cost-of-living crisis, YouGov research reveals that today’s consumer views flexibility in working hours as equal importance when choosing where to work (54%) compared to high salary (56%).
The evolution of remote work in recent years combined with the renewed ability to connect in person is adding to this trend and speeding up Crowne Plaza’s plans for further hotel openings to keep up with demand. The brand looks to extend its stronghold, building 107 new hotels (27,342 rooms) in the next three years alongside renovating 50% of its existing portfolio consisting of over 400 hotels.
Of those surveyed by YouGov, a market research company, 31% believe that combining work travel and leisure would allow them to progress further in their career, and 39% say that it would increase their happiness levels. Meanwhile, Crowne Plaza’s “Blended Travel” white paper says four in five* business executives worry that unless they increase business travel, their professional (80%) and personal lives (80%) will suffer.
The survey reveals that 35% of U.S. consumers believe that it would be beneficial to them and allow them greater flexibility to combine work with a leisure trip abroad. Nearly two-fifths (36%) would add on an average of two to three more leisure days onto future business trips and feel a bit to more confident in traveling this summer if their holiday was blended into a work trip.
Top reasons for wanting to travel for work among consumers include to discover new places, countries, and cultures (48%). Crowne Plaza has reported an uplift in business travel stays at its hotels, with leading hotels for combined travel and work being Crowne Plaza HY36 Midtown Manhattan, Crowne Plaza North Augusta, Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia, Crowne Plaza Phoenix–Chandler Golf Resort, and Crowne Plaza Asheville.
To explore the changing needs of its guests in relation to the uplift in demand for combined work and leisure travel, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, part of IHG Hotels & Resorts and one of the world’s largest premium hotel brands, has launched the first “Blended Travel” white paper by a hospitality brand: The Future of Blended Travel.
The white paper, developed in partnership with Stylus, a global trends and insights business, identifies four emerging subtrends that speak to guest’s evolving needs: