• World Biz Magazine

CROWNE PLAZA - PRESSURE IS ON EMPLOYERS TO ADOPT FLEXIBLE WORKING CONDITIONS AND BLENDED TRAVEL



Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts launches new study on blended travel, accelerating plans to build 107 hotels in the next three years and renovate 50 percent of its existing estate globally.


As competition for talent intensifies, a new study from Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts reveals that Millennial (65%) and Gen Z (59%) consumers are more inclined to work for a company that offers frequent travel or flexible (work + leisure) travel possibilities as a perk.


Today's consumer (54%) believes flexibility in working hours is just as important as a high salary (56%) or a four-day work week (36%).


The brand's 'Blended Travel' white paper says that four in five business executives worry that, unless they increase travel, their professional (80%) and personal lives (80%) will suffer.


With the conclusion 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.


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 white paper identifies four emerging sub-trends that speak to guest's evolving needs:


Reworking work: Travel to a hotel or resort in a warm, exotic overseas location or an exciting city as a base for remote flexible working has boomed over the past two years.


Hybrid living, hybrid lives: Increasing number of business travelers are planning to extend their work travel with leisure days to get the most from their trips. Key to this is the flexibility and ability to work while traveling – whether it is a long-haul trip or a weekend visiting family – that's enabled by new working practices.


Upskilling and side-hustles: Upskillers and Side Hustlers are using the power of travel to fuel inspiration, feed curiosity and enable networking and connections.


New care economy: More than ever before, families want to travel with children and grandparents. Multi-generational travelers seek out destinations that cater to all ages.


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 socialize, 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 maximize space for work, relaxation and sleep.


About the Whitepaper Research

Crowne Plaza Blended Travel survey, targeting 3,000 IHG One Rewards members, conducted February 2022.


About YouGov data

The research was conducted by research company YouGov between 1st – 4th July 2022 with a sample of 1281 adults in the US. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).


About IHG Hotels & Resorts

IHG Hotels & Resorts (LON: IHG) (NYSE: IHG) (ADRs) is a global hospitality company, with a purpose to provide True Hospitality for Good. With a family of 17 hotel brands and IHG One Rewards, one of the world's largest hotel loyalty programmes, IHG has over 6,000 open hotels in over 100 countries, and more than 1,800 in the development pipeline.


InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated and registered in England and Wales.


For more information, visit: ihgplc.com