"Bleisure" is becoming ever more popular among people looking to combine business trips with tourism. The sector is developing apace and is set to expand yet further in the next few years, with both employees who travel and their employers enjoying the benefits. Travel and tourism sector professionals are also finding that new avenues are opening up.
Who has never been on a business trip and wanted to tack a few days on the end to discover a little more about their destination once the professional aspect of the journey is done and dusted? It is becoming a wide-spread phenomenon, to the extent that it even has its own name – "bleisure", a portmanteau of business and leisure. The tendency is on the rise – so much so that people who organise business trips for a living are beginning to adapt their offer and the way that the trips are organised.
More and more travellers combining business with pleasure
A recent study carried out by GlobalData shows that 43% of employees who travel professionally arrange it so that they can stay a little longer at their destination for personal reasons. That figure is as high as 56% for business travellers aged 25 – 34. Between 2012 and 2016, the proportion of "bleisure" trips rose from 11% – 17%, says the 2016 annual Travel Weekly report on tendencies in the sector.
Other than the desire of employees to add a few fond personal memories of relaxation or tourism to their trips, another factor is behind the development of bleisure, according to website Verdict. With air travel becoming less expensive, those taking trips can easily adapt the length of their stays. People who like to combine business with pleasure often have their partners join them, while plenty delay their return flight and come back on the Saturday or the Sunday as opposed to the Friday evening, for example.
More fun for the employee, less expense for the employer
In the latter case, changes of this nature do not necessarily make the trip more expensive, and can even make it cheaper. In many cases, the cost of a flight that takes place during the peak periods of the week, such as Friday evening or Monday morning, can be more than one for the same journey carried out in the middle of the weekend – thus reducing overheads for employers. Bleisure can therefore put a smile on the face of both employees who travel and their companies.
The latter know that a happy worker is a profitable worker. In their contracts, some of them offer their employees the chance to extend their business trips. Those who are interested in discovering new places therefore enjoy their business travel much more, improving their efficiency at work as well as their motivation when it comes to meeting – and indeed going beyond – company targets.
Hotels can also benefit from the situation
Travel industry professionals can also benefit from bleisure, in particular hotels, with some of them having already seen how they can increase occupancy by offering rates for business clients whose families are looking to discover new horizons.
With business travellers reaping the rewards, their employers getting more for their money and the travel and tourism industries licking their lips, bleisure would seem to have a golden future ahead of it, with experts in the sector predicting that the phenomenon is set to gain yet more ground in the years to come.
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