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The top goals Kiwis hope to achieve through business travel

Whether heading overseas for a conference or driving to the next big city for a client meeting, business travel can be a big part of our job description - and especially for Kiwis, says Luke Ashall.

Business travel can have a significant, positive impact on our careers. Perhaps you want to be inspired and re-energised for work, bond with colleagues or strengthen client relationships. No matter what your personal career goal is, business travel can help you achieve it.

Booking.com for Business’ research reveals just how much Kiwis understand the benefits business travel can bring to their career. So, what are the top five business travel goals of New Zealanders?

Putting a face to a name – Kiwis believe there’s a real business case for in-person meetings, as a significant 65 percent of working professionals in New Zealand believe travelling to meet clients, or colleagues, face-to-face is essential to business success. In the early stages of a working relationship, there’s no better way to stick in a client’s mind, or put your business case across, than by meeting face-to-face. Important points can be lost over the phone or by email, so it’s really worth making the effort to travel from day one.

Strengthening your relationships – Once those initial introductions have been made, business travel is essential to maintaining, and strengthening, your existing relationships. This not only applies to clients and partners, but your colleagues too. Almost half of working Kiwis (48 percent) hope to strengthen their professional relationships during a business trip, by spending more time with both clients and colleagues.

Going for growth – Whether it’s heading home with a new customer signed up, or expansion plan in place, 45 percent of respondents hope to grow their business as a result of taking a work trip. To be successful, it’s important to keep moving forward and part of this includes exploring opportunities in other markets. Taking a business trip can be the perfect way to realise the bigger picture, and the start to working towards a goal that takes your business beyond the boundaries of New Zealand.

Reigniting your professional passion – You might be the most talented, creative person in your office – and still, you’re bound to run out of good ideas eventually. Over a third of Kiwi professionals (37 percent) hope to gain inspiration while travelling for business that they can bring back to the office and apply to their own work. Learning about how other companies, and other cultures, operate to bring out the best in their teams, and see great results in the process, could be the best thing you ever do.

An opportunity to relax and unwind – No matter how much you love your job, working 9-5 (and often beyond this) can be exhausting. It’s no surprise that people can experience burn out. Often a business trip can be an opportunity to recharge while exploring a new country, with 53 percent of Kiwi professionals saying they use their “bleisure” (business/leisure) time to sightsee and explore well-known attractions and 32 percent saying they choose to incorporate “bleisure” time on a business trip so they have time away from work to recharge.

The advantages of business travel for your career is clear, no matter what your particular focus is right now. So, next time there is an opportunity to represent your company overseas, why not put yourself forward? If there aren’t any work trips coming up on the horizon – do you own research and talk to your boss about conferences you would like to attend. They should be able to help you find suitable flights, accommodation and insurance options. 

Luke Ashall is New Zealand area manager for Booking.com.