News Copy – By Astrid Hall

Nearly half of work trips are more pleasure than business, it has emerged.

Researchers who carried out a detailed study found while many employees will claim the trips are ‘all work and no play’, the opposite is often true.

It also emerged almost nine out of 10 workers who get the opportunity to travel with their jobs enjoy doing so.

And six in 10 use the opportunity to expand their horizons and visit new places.

The study also found those who travel with their jobs typically depart eight times a year.

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director at Bristol Airport which commissioned the survey, said: “This research reflects the changes we’ve noticed on stay lengths for passengers travelling on business which supports the Bleisure concept of travel.

“Previously passengers would arrange business travel involving for one or two nights away.

”But increasingly we are seeing passengers selecting three or more nights stays, in some cases this allows passengers the opportunity of relaxing and enjoying time in and around the destination they are visiting.”

It also emerged six in 10 treat foreign business trips more like a leisure break than a job, with more than half inviting family, friends or both along to make their excursion more enjoyable.

Seizing the opportunity, British business travellers will enjoy drinks, nice meals out or even go sightseeing, visiting local theme or water parks to make the most of their professional jaunt.

Fifty-four per cent will extend their time away by taking personal annual leave to reap the benefits of being sent abroad by their employer.

And nearly half will take the opportunity to visit friends or relatives in their international destination.

One quarter confessed using an excuse to colleagues including that they have been stuck in meetings while abroad to get some free time to themselves.

And 54 per cent have even used a business trip to visit a new, exotic location.

The research, of 2,000 employees who have travelled internationally for work purposes, conducted via OnePoll.com, also found 83 per cent wished they could travel abroad for work more often.

Six in 10 are in favour of sending staff away on international trips, with an equal number saying they believe it helps build character.

More than two thirds agreed it gives employees a chance to get to grips with other cultures and allows them to build business relationships on a more personal level.

Yet of those against the decision to fly employees around the world, 65 per cent said it’s too costly and one in four reckon staff can do the same job from their desk at home.

Nigel Scott added: “We know for business travellers it is about building client relationships and this cannot be achieved by telephone and email alone, personal face to face meetings are important.

“Time is valuable and precious for any business traveller and Bristol Airport provides a number of European hub airport destinations with world-wide long haul flight connections.

“This saves time for the busy business traveller by ‘flying local’ and we are seeing trends where passengers split up their journey to enjoy a stop-over in a European city prior to their onward flight again providing the opportunities of networking or arranging meetings.

“We also find passengers are loyal to airline frequent flyer schemes where air miles, personal perks and discounts all encourage future travel opportunities.”

Top 20 things to do on a business trip abroad to make it more fun:
1. Relaxed over drinks
2. Expensive meals
3. Sightseeing
4. Sampled local delicacies
5. Shopping
6. Ordered room service
7. Visited local bars/clubs
8. Tried a new experience like sailing, surfing, bungy jumping etc.
9. Met new people
10. Visited somewhere for a day out like a theme or water park
11. Met up with friends
12. Used the hotel pool
13. Went to the beach
14. Met up with family
15. Watched films
16. Visited a spa
17. Hired a car and driven to new sights
18. Visited a vineyard/brewery
19. Cycling adventure
20. Music gig

ENDS

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