According to Orbis Research, international departures for business purposes are expected to increase from 157.7 million in 2017 to 166.3 million in 2018. Picture: Supplied.

The world of travel is constantly evolving and, as technologies improve and economies grow, so does the need to travel to different parts of the world.

According to Orbis Research, international departures for business purposes are expected to increase by 5.4% for the 2018 year, from 157.7 million in 2017 to 166.3 million in 2018, as a result of the improving economic landscape worldwide.

When travelling for business, especially long-distance, many employees add-on weekends or leave days to make the most of their time in another country. If your company is sending you overseas, why not request adding a few days to your trip so you can see more than just the boardroom and your accommodation?

Globally, there has been a significant rise in “bleisure” travellers – those who combine a business-related trip with leisure time. Not only is this a great way to see the world, but it’s also cost effective as your company will likely be footing the bill for your flights and other travel expenses related to the work aspects of the trip. A number of companies, in fact, have travel policies in place which clearly stipulate the rules around flexibility for bleisure travel.

 Airbnb has become a firm favourite with the business traveller.

Companies find Airbnb more cost-effective than paying for a hotel room, not to mention the added appeal for the traveller of being able to live like a local, enjoy a unique experience and rent out an entire space that they could possibly share with family if they are able to bring them along. It is with this in mind that Airbnb launched Airbnb for Work – where business travellers and support personnel like HR administrators and travel managers can choose homes that meet specific business needs. Airbnb for Work also allows guests to bill their company instead of their personal credit cards.

Trends on the Airbnb platform show that companies that use Airbnb for business travel save, on average, 30% over traditional accommodation options. Business travellers were also found to stay twice as long if staying in an Airbnb home at 6.8 days per trip, indicating that more business travellers are staying the weekend and enjoying the neighbourhood they are staying in.  

Recently, as part of a number of new announcements from the home-sharing platform, Airbnb announced Airbnb Collections. This is a new way of finding the exact home that you need for a specific type of trip. Filtering by “for work” will ensure that only homes that have very specific features (such as self-check-in, good WiFi, a desk from which to work) show up as options. This feature further demonstrates Airbnb’s ability to cater to every type of traveller.

This new collection and the Airbnb for Work platform is the result of Airbnb’s research into business travel. In 2016 alone, the company noticed that the number of business trips on Airbnb had tripled. More than 250 companies from over 230 countries use Airbnb for Work and the company boasts that nearly 15% of nights booked today are for business trips.

American Express Global Business Travel said there are multiple compelling reasons why companies should adopt guidelines for this increase in bleisure travel, including the fact that such perks lead to happier employees who are ultimately more productive. With Airbnb for Work and the Work Collection, you can even ensure that they have all they need to meet any pending deadlines.

Furthermore, “When company leaders demonstrate how much they value their travellers’ well-being and work-life balance, employees will be inclined to do a better job and also stay put in that job,” the company said in a statement.