Bleisure, a traveling style, where the travel starts out as a business trip and then turns into a regular vacation, is here to stay.
First viewed as a fad, several studies have shown that adding a few days to a business trip helps to be more relaxed and is a great way to spend quality time with a significant other. They can explore places where – maybe – they would not have gone on their own, but since they are there, they are very happy to explore.Especially road warriors or frequent travelers (who take more than seven work trips per year) are more likely to extend one or two of these trips than the infrequent travelers. Usually these full-time employees are middle management in a company with more than 950 employees.The bleisure trips are usually not much longer than the business trips itself – on average one to three days. The main reason the leisure part of the trip is not longer, the travelers say, is that they don’t have time.
So, why all of a sudden is the traveling working population interested to stay away from home and on the road?
One of the reason is age…yes, the new work force of Millennials (20 to 25 years old), X and Y generations and those with this type of mindset are more interested to explore, experience and expand their horizons.Another is changing company cultures where more focus is on employee well-being and flexible working hours. Some companies even offer bleisure time as a perk to boost employee satisfaction and productivity. Hence, the travelers can incorporate their interests with the company’s schedules.
One thing to caution. To enhance the travel experience of a bleisure trip from a company perspective, Monica Sanchez, GBTA Foundation’s director of research suggests that clear rules for “reimbursing expenses incurred by non-employees, helping travelers understand resources available to them on the leisure portion of their trip and developing a policy regarding preferred suppliers and booking channels” are established. It will avoid headaches for all concerned.The good news for the hospitality industry is that most of these travelers stay for the leisure portion of their trip in the same hotel as for the business, especially those who travel more frequently and are a bit older. Adapting to the trend, hoteliers are well advised to offer the service package that satisfies business and leisure travelers…as they are now becoming one and the same.Source: GBTA Foundation, in partnership with Hilton, Extending Business Travel into Leisure time – Bleisure Study, June 2017