The more information we get on the habits of travelers who combine business and leisure, the more obvious it becomes that the notion of the siloed, well-behaving business traveler is completely outdated.
Bleisure, despite its unfortunate name, seems to be having a moment. More workers are doing what they actually want to during, before, and after business trips, and the travel industry is playing catch up to adapt to shifting trends.
The Unpacking Bleisure Traveler Trends report shows that workers from technology and manufacturing are most likely to combine business and leisure, while a whopping 60 percent of business travelers polled did so over the last year. Travelers from the UK, India, China, Germany, and the UK are taking advantage of business trips in a big way.
Technology, information technology, and software workers combined the two most often, with 24 percent reporting they’d taken a bleisure trip; manufacturing (13 percent) and finance (12 percent) followed in frequency. Overall, 67 percent traveled for a conference while 46 percent traveled for an external meeting and 42 percent for sales purposes.
About half of business trips, whether domestic or international, became bleisure trips. Nearly half said visiting a distant destination made it more likely for them to turn a business trip into a bleisure trip.
|Leading Factors in Extending for Bleisure|
|Great Entertainment/Activity City||48%|
|Bucket List Destination||43%|
|Easy to Navigate City||38%|
|How Many Nights I Stay||37%|
|How Close to Weekend||37%|
Source: Expedia Group Media Solutions
What Makes a Bleisure Destination
Food, beaches, and sightseeing are the most important factors for business travelers, unsurprisingly.
|What Makes a Great Bleisure Destination|
|Natural Sightseeing Locations||51%|
Source: Expedia Group Media Solutions
Most polled spend an hour or two to decide on whether to add leisure elements to their trip or not, using online search engines or talking to friends and family for advice. Only 33 percent left the city they went to for business for the leisure portion of their trip though.
Cheap hotels, as well, seem to play a part in the decision-making process. Hotels alone account for 32 percent of bleisure spending, followed by 19 percent for airfare and 16 percent for dining.
The upshot for hoteliers and airlines is that many make the decision to add on to their trip while already in destination, so marketing to travelers while they’re in the middle of their trip represents a major sales opportunity.
“Most bleisure travelers spend less time on research than they would on a leisure trip, so marketers have a shorter window to strategically target and influence behavior and purchases with call to action messaging,” concludes the report. “Bleisure travelers may not book everything in advance, highlighting opportunities for marketers to reach and convert travelers in-trip – especially for ancillary products like dining, tours and activities, entertainment and transportation.”
Subscribe to Skift Pro
Subscribe to Skift Pro to get unlimited access to stories like these ($30/month)Subscribe Now
Photo Credit: Tourists in Spain. Global business travelers in particular sectors are combining business and leisure at a growing rate. Ignacio Martínez Egea / Flickr
Europe’s Hotels Will Wait Until at Least 2025 for Full Return of International Business Guests
Be wary of everybody’s favorite word at the moment: pent-up demand. Your typical leisure traveler can book a trip and pack their bag in minutes, but companies will keep employees on a tight leash for years to come.
Matthew Parsons, Skift | 6 days ago
Travel CEOs Cast Doubt on Business Travel’s Full Return and 9 Other Top Travel Stories
In Skift’s top stories this week, numerous travel CEOs express pessimism about a full recovery of corporate travel, a Bill Gates-owned firm becomes the majority stakeholder in Four Seasons Hotels, and Las Vegas emerges as the U.S.' most popular business travel destination.
Rashaad Jorden , Skift | 1 week ago