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 US 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 many US businesses struggle to find and retain workers, employees are in a stronger bargaining position. 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%), to high salary (56%).
The evolution of remote work, as a result of the pandemic, 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, 31% believe that combining work travel and leisure would allow them to progress further in their career and also 39% said that it would increase their happiness levels. Meanwhile, the brand’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 US 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 average two to three more leisure days on to 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 amongst 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.
‘As US employers struggle to fill vacancies, there is pressure on them to attract and retain the best talent. We’ve 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. Across our hotels and resorts, we’ve seen an uplift in those who blend work travel with leisure, and with 107 new hotels in the pipeline during the next three years, Crowne Plaza has already laid the groundwork by creating spaces and a service style that are specifically catering to these desires. 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,’ said Ginger Taggart, Vice President, Brand Management, Global Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts.
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 ‘Blended Travel’ white paper, developed in partnership with global trends and insights business, Stylus, identifies four emerging sub-trends that speak to guest’s evolving needs:
Travel for both leisure and work are back – but it’s different now. Guests of Crowne Plaza are rediscovering what’s special about the brand: it’s the only premium hotel offering with purposefully designed service and spaces which lend themselves to a blended lifestyle. From Plaza Workspace, a grouping of work and relaxation areas including the private, creative Studio zones that enable guests to work, eat and play, to the signature bar, providing a dynamic environment to socialise, work, and relax, Crowne Plaza’s design is purposely built to promote connections and encourage informal gatherings. The brand’s perfectly balanced and patented WorkLife Room offers a combination of comfort, connectivity and flexibility with distinct zones that maximise space for work, relaxation and sleep.
With premium hotels currently based in more than 409 locations in city, airport, leisure & suburban destinations, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts has properties spanning across 63 countries – everywhere the modern business traveler wants to stay for blended travel to recharge and refuel.