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Dec 28, 2018,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Business Travel: “Bleisure” has become the norm, according to a study by Concur

A recent study led by American company Concur showed that “bleisure”, a concept that involves combining a business trip with leisure activities, is enjoying a real boom. This is particularly the case in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and especially in Europe, where the number of “bleisure” trips increased by nearly 50% over the last year.

American company Concur, who specialise in corporate travel and expense management, have just published a worldwide study dedicated to “bleisure”. This new practice, whose name is a blend of the terms “business” and “leisure”, involves indulging in leisure activities during a business trip. In 2017, the phenomenon increased by 46% in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and by 20% worldwide, reports the website Voyages d'affaires.


A trend that concerns all generations and companies of all sizes


The study is based on Concur’s booking data for the whole of 2017. In their calculations, the analysts only took into account trips that included a Friday night. The results showed that the increase in “bleisure” was observed throughout 2017, but especially in March, when it reached a record 81%. Next came February (up 49%) and May (up 48%). With regard to destinations, EMEA’s “bleisure” travellers showed a preference for the cities of Tel Aviv, London and Paris, followed by Dubai then Frankfurt.

If the findings of Concur’s study are to be believed, young travellers are not the only ones to indulge in “bleisure”, and the other generations are hot on their heels: Baby Boomers account for 31% of these types of trip, as does Generation W, compared with 38% for Millennials. Similarly, all types of company are concerned, even small businesses. Concur’s study showed that one SME in five indulges in “bleisure”. As for business sectors, “bleisure” is most prevalent in the manufacturing, technology and pharmaceutical industries.


“Bleisure” boosted by the advent of new business travel stakeholders  


This “bleisure” boom can be explained by the appearance of new stakeholders in the field of business travel, says Emma Maslen, managing director of Concur UK. “This trend coincides with the upward growth trajectory of the platform economy, the most notable brands including Airbnb, enabling travellers to find cost-effective, flexible accommodation that empowers them to maximise the best of both worlds, she explains.

Concur’s study shows that 70% of Airbnb bookings taken into account included a Saturday night, compared with only 10% of hotel bookings.


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