Agencies Find Opportunity When Vacations Are Tacked Onto Business Travel
Conventional wisdom says a good travel agent can arrange leisure travel or corporate travel, but not both. Even if it were true, there's nothing to prevent the agency from selling both leisure and business travel — except believing conventional wisdom.
"Mixing leisure and business travel is a great opportunity," said Marc Casto, president and CEO of Casto Travel, based in Silicon Valley.
An Unpacking Bleisure Traveler Trends survey from Expedia, released earlier this year, found that 60 percent of business travelers combine business and leisure travel. That's up from 43 percent in 2016. Business travelers from the UK, Germany, India, and China were among those blending business and leisure travel in a big way.
The agency that doesn't handle both is not only losing out on business travel revenue, but is missing a chunk of easy leisure add-on sales as well, experts say.
The issue, Casto said, is that leisure and business travel come close to being different disciplines. The skill sets are similar, but the knowledge base, attitudes, expectations, and payment mechanisms diverge.
We don't want to stereotype, but here are some tendencies.