A good indication of how well – or how bad – the economy is doing can be found at airports and hotels: business travelers. The more companies spend on business travel, the more likely the economy is inching closer to a recovery. Why?
When businesses do well, they spend more on travel – and send their employees on more face-to-face meetings. Many of these business travelers – in particular road warriors – then look to get the most out of their trips by extending their stay for leisure purposes. (The term “bleisure travel” was coined a few years ago to describe this phenomenon. In fact, Starwood – our parent company – brought significant attention to the term in summer 2010 when results were published from a joint study with American Express on business travel.)
The good news: industry experts have been saying since late 2011 that a recovery is a very real possibility this year. Deloitte reported in December that corporate travel would fuel the travel, hospitality and leisure industry in 2012. In early 2012, industry experts predicted demand for business travel would remain healthy throughout the year and grow at a steady rate. And most recently, another annual business travel survey found that business travel is already on the rise, with hotels seeing continued growth across the board in group commitments as well as individual leisure and business travelers.
Denver is an ideal city to turn a business trip into a “bleisure trip,” and the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel offers business travelers many amenities including access to wireless high-speed Internet, PC stations and free printing, LCD flat screen televisions, smart desktops with laptop, iPod and television interfacing capabilities, and more. Plus, more good news for Denver: later this month, officials at the Denver International Airport will unveil a plan to attract businesses to Denver at the Airport Cities 2012 conference, which will be held at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel. Hopefully, the recovery in the travel industry – and business travel – will continue for years to come.