The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The Bleisure Vacation
The business travel market makes up thirty percent of overall annual travel. The concept of ‘Bleisure’ is where employees add two or three extra days of leisure time to their business trip. Sometimes employees invite family or friends with them and pay for the extra capacity.
In terms of ‘Bleisure’ traveller habits, more than one in every two travellers taking ‘Bleisure’ trips bring family members or a significant other with them. Almost one in five of thirty-five to sixty-four year olds are most likely to combine a business trip with a leisure holiday, compared to only one in twenty of over sixty-five year olds. The top three most popular ‘Bleisure’ activities are; sightseeing, dining and arts or culture. Eighty-three percent of those taking a ‘Belisure’ travel trip say they use time on business trips to explore the cities they are visiting.
The key demographic to watch in the ‘Bleisure’ travel market is the ‘Millennial’ market. More than nine in ten ‘Millennials’ say they are more than, or equally likely, to take a ‘Bleisure’ trip in the next five years. When it comes to the market trends, company policies around ‘Bleisure’ tourism have to be taken into account. Fifty-nine percent say that their company has no formal policy around the concept. Forty-six percent of employees taking business trips, add personal days to business travel on every trip, or to most trips anyway.
Have a look at the infographic below provided by The Europe Hotel & Resort, a luxury hotel based in Ireland, for more detailed information and statistics around the ‘Bleisure’ travel market.
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Bleisure The Growing Trend in Business Travel
- Bleisure = Business + Leisure
- They might invite their significant other + pay for the additional cost
- Employees add 2 to 3 extra days of leisure time to their business trip
- The majority of annual travel is for leisure, with business making up 30% or less
The Bleisure Traveller
“There is a new mindset in today’s business traveller. They’re not just a business person on their way to a meeting, but an individual thinking about making the most of every opportunity they find themselves in.” – Chris Rossi, Spokesperson, Virgin Atlantic.*
Bleisure Traveller Habits
- More than 1 in 2 travellers taking Bleisure trips bring family members or a significant other with them
- Almost 1 in 5 of 35 to 64 year olds + 1 in 20 of over 65s, are most likely to combine a business trip with a leisure holiday
- The 3 most popular Bleisure activities are: sightseeing, dining, and arts/culture
Millennials, The Bleisure Travellers to Watch
- More than 9 in 10 younger travellers are more than or equally likely to take a Bleisure trip in the next 5 years
- The primary reason for Bleisure travel among under 35s is because they are in a city that they have never been to before
- Almost 2 in 5 do not bring a significant other or family member with them, but would like to
The Market Trends
“It’s understandable that companies want employees to keep business as the focus of the business trip, but if these trips make employees more worldly, help them relax, and incorporate family time, employees will likely be more productive in the office and companies can’t keep ignoring discussing their policies.” – Dan Peltier, Skift Global Travel Intelligence Agency*
Many employees are unsure if their company even has a policy on leisure activities during business trips.
- 15% are aware of a policy
- 59% say there is no policy
- 27% say they are not sure
What Employees Are Doing
- 83% say they use time on business trips to explore cities they are visiting
- 60% said they have taken a Bleisure trip, with 30% of them adding 2 vacation days to business trips
- 46% add personal travel days to business travel ‘every trip’ or to ‘most trips’
Why Employees Are Doing It
- 96% said they gain cultural experience + knowledge during these trips
- 78% feel adding leisure days to business travel adds value to work assignments
- 73% of travellers feel Bleisure opportunities benefit them as an employee
Airports Are Facilitating the Bleisure Market
Research from Virgin Atlantic shows 56% of business travellers arrive more than 1 hour before their flights to use airport lounges.
- 81% dine
- 65% use Wi-Fi
- 42% work
- 21% get a massage or facial
- 6% socialize at the bar
The Industry Opportunity
“Increasingly, people are working around half-term holidays with the family, so that an executive can do a week overseas while the family fly in at the beginning or end. The key thing customers have in common is that they are all frequent travellers and tend to be older.” – Adam Knights, Managing Director UK, ATPI, Global Travel Management Agency*
Capitalize on the Bleisure Market
- 6 out of 10 travellers are away from home on business 10 or more days per year, with 2 of those travellers away for 60+ days.
- 1 to 2 days is the average Bleisure trip
- 3 in 5 are more likely to take a Bleisure trip now than they were 5 years ago
Bleisure Travellers to Target Countries with Generous Paid Annual Leave
- France 30 days
- UK 28 days*
- Austria 25 days*
- Norway 25 days
- Denmark 25 days
- Finland 25 days*
- Sweden 25 days*
- Luxembourg 25 days*
*The experts quoted above are in no way affiliated to The Europe Hotel & Resort.
THE EUROPE HOTEL & RESORT