I recently came across a pretty unique benefit. Although certain perks are attractive to business travelers — things like deals, loyalty points, the ability to tack on vacation days at the end of a work trip — I haven’t seen many geared toward leisure travelers.
Kind of a bummer for me as someone who obsessively researches Crater Lake National Park every so often, counting down the days when I can finally vacation there (hopefully next summer?).
Which is why some recent news in the benefits world recently struck me. Hotel Engine, a company that provides hotel booking solutions for business, officially launched in the employee benefits space Oct. 20. That is, people can use Hotel Engine for their own personal leisure travel now as a benefit, at no cost to the employee or the employer. They can get discounted hotel prices (between a 25 and 60 percent), the corporate rate for leisure travel.
“It’s one of the benefits that more and more employees are looking for, and so being able to offer them these deeply discounted rates to use when they have vacation is huge,” said Sonia Reid, vice president of marketing and communications at Hotel Engine. “We’ve see a lot of positive feedback.”
Hotel Engine also helps on the implementation side and the marketing side, to make sure the rollout goes smoothly. Also, Hotel Engine extends its customer service and anything it would do for any business travel client to the leisure realm as well. It works because it’s not strictly leisure travel. You have to be part of a business which offers it as a benefit.
“We saw an opening in the market. There was a need for this type of service, and we could offer it,” said Reid.
I know I’ll be interested to see if these types of leisure travel benefits continue to make their way into the benefits space. Of course, there are those business traveler perks already, and sabbaticals for employees who have been at a company for a designated time (example: Epic Systems), but what about something for a different type of employee, they kind who hasn’t necessarily been at a company long enough to earn a sabbatical and who doesn’t travel for work? Discounts and deals could be an attractive perk for people in that group.
Andie Burjek is a Workforce associate editor. Comment below, or email at email@example.com. Follow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.