Business travel is predicted to surge and bleisure travel has taken off, according to the Global Rescue Spring 2023 Travelers Sentiment and Safety Survey. Seventy percent of business travelers responding say their work-related travel will match or exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2023. The majority of business travelers taking the survey (65%) will include bleisure travel, adding extra days to their business trip for personal or leisure activities.
More than half of responding business travelers (55%) will travel both domestically and internationally for business compared to a year ago when nearly three-out-of-four respondents (72%) had not traveled abroad for business or did not have plans to do so.
“The business traveler mindset has changed, and employer attitudes have shifted, too. Face-to-face meetings are more effective at establishing and maintaining relationships than virtual meetings. It’s no surprise that domestic and international work-related travel is rising along with bleisure travel,” said Dan Richards, CEO of The Global Rescue Companies, the world’s leading provider of medical, security, evacuation and travel risk management services.
As business travel increases, so do the challenges facing employers, especially following the pandemic and the rise of remote work. “The biggest management challenge in this evolving environment will be how duty of care plays a role in protecting a location-independent workforce. They have to ask themselves if a set of rules or policies designed to maintain their health, safety and well-being while working is in place,” Richards said.
The overwhelming majority of business travelers surveyed (72%) say they do not have or do not know if they have a duty of care policy in place. The majority of the 28% of business travelers who say they have duty of care provisions in place have trouble listing what the plan includes. More than half say their policy includes pre-trip destination planning and health alerts. However, fewer than half say security, travel tracking and alerts were available during the trip.
“Corporate leaders carry a duty of care responsibility to their employees, to take care of them and avoid exposing them to any unnecessary or undue risk. As more workers become location-independent and include bleisure in their business travel trips, the more the firm’s duty of care policies must evolve,” Richards said.