Bleisure: The smarter way to manage travel?
You find yourself sent away on a business trip to a stunning, exotic city that you’ve always wanted to visit. Wouldn’t it be great to have a few days to try the local cuisines, see the sights and tick something off of your bucket list? Bleisure is an emerging business travel movement that allows just that; a business traveller will extend their stay to enjoy their destination using annual leave or weekends.
A recent survey of 2,700 business travellers found that on average travellers extended their trips between two and three times a year for an average period of four days (CWT, 2009). Companies are also on board with the growing bleisure trend,-76% of the respondents confirmed that their employers had sanctioned their trip extensions for leisure.
Bleisure is here to stay
With travel restrictions being lifted, and people looking to travel. It’s probably of little surprise that 43% of business trips included a leisure component (Expedia, 2016), and that travel managers are becoming increasingly aware of the cross over between the travelling for work and pleasure. Bleisure can aid in boosting morale, relieving stress, and increasing productivity, and will want to utilise this as much as possible.
Take into account the recent increase in remote working, and reliable Wi-Fi in most towns and cities; bleisure travellers now have more opportunities than ever to explore the globe within the parameters of their working lives.
Millennials and Wellness
Millennials and younger business travellers have certainly been early adopters and champions increasing wellness in the workplace, but their desire for a greater work-life balance is shared by older colleagues as well. The discussion of a healthy work-life balance is shared across age groups now, and bleisure travel is an ideal opportunity to improve the balance. A recent world bank study showed that 75% of business travellers reported high or very high stress levels related specifically to business travel (TBTM, 2020). Typically a business trip can involve frustrating planning, rushed travelling, and little time for rest and relaxation, especially when travelling into different time zones and being expected to work whilst jet lagged. Although, it doesn’t have to be.
Bleisure trips can also help the conscience of the millennial business traveller too. Millennials are among the most concerned about the planet and the impact that travelling has on the environment; 87% of millennials said that companies should address environmental issues (Sustainability Management School, 2019). Allowing business and leisure trips to be combined means that a traveller only needs one set of flights, and fewer shuttle trips to and from airports using car, taxis, and coaches. With an ever growing list of carbon offsetting projects becoming available, businesses can show staff that they’re doing more than just reducing the amount of travel that they’re doing; they’re actively working to help with their carbon footprint.
Why combine business travel with leisure?
With a considerably reduced trip cost and just activities to pay for, many bleisure travellers are finding themselves visiting landmarks, eating local cuisine and experiencing new things over activities such as partying (Topdeck Travel, 2016). Interestingly, millennials are also avoiding tourist traps searching instead for a more meaningful experience, such as hiking, surfing, and looking for intimate music venues.
In 2016 millennials were going on an average of seven-to-eight business trips a year, and expected this to increase by another 59% in 2017 (Skift, 2016). Hilton hotels surveyed business travelers who confirmed that 75% of them consider business travel as a perk, and 65% of them consider it a status symbol. In the same study 69% of millennial business travelers wished they could extend these trips for leisure (Forbes, 2018).
By incorporating bleisure trips as part of their travel policies, businesses can expect staff engagement and retention to improve. Millenials love to travel, and the option to do so with reduced cost is very attractive. According to Booking.com 30% of employees would accept a lower paying job if it meant travelling more often for work (Booking.com, 2017). This increased loyalty can easily be maintained as long as bleisure travellers can take advantage from a flexible travel policy.
It’s safe to say that the travel industry is evolving, and with millennials seeking instagrammable adventures that bleisure travel is a trend that won’t be going away anywhere quickly.
At Orthartize, we love bleisure
At Ortharize, we offer a full travel management approval system and trip functionality that allows users to plan trips and even book personal trips within the platform if the company travel policy allows it. We also have separate payments and reporting for personal travel so that you’re not spending any more time reconciling unnecessary data.
Get started today—for free—by creating an account on our website. It takes two minutes to sign your company up and we’re on hand to help with any queries, if you have them. We also offer personalised demos and can help with platform setup through our expert implementation team. And if you need help shaping sustainable and environmentally-friendly travel policies that work for you, we can do that too.