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Workation! Not an official word just yet, but very much a concept that is catching steam.
According to the Travel Industry Association of America, a staggering 19.5 million business trips in the US were taken WITH children last year!
A few decades ago, some may have thought that taking children on business trips is unethical, however in a recent online survey of almost 2000 business people, 75% disagreed with that notion and 20% said it was a grey area.
This evolution has prompted a new wave of companies such as KiddieCorp
who organize children itineraries on big conferences, where families are welcome to join the travelling party. Families are expected to pay their way on these workations but the idea is still welcomed, especially, by those who have small children and are guilt ridden when away from home.
When you speak to people who work in corporate hotels, the mere hint of children makes them squeamish, the response is always the same “we don’t target families” and then comes that dreaded holiday season, where suddenly they only get families and end up scrambling trying to serve them without any clue how. A classic symptom of this lack of understanding is the Johnson and Johnson baby pack as an amenity for a 6 year old child!
There is a school of thought that workations are fueled by the Y generation who have started having children and simply want and expect it ALL. In a survey Velvet Marketing UK conducted on the topic, one person said, I do a little work on family holidays, so I do very much expect to do a little family on work trips!
Leveraging workation in corporate hotels is done by simply introducing the family experience. You don’t need resort pools and kids clubs (they obviously help) but you do need an understanding of the workation family experience.