Bleisure Travel Is Booming Among Gen Ys

Believe it or not, bleisure travel isn’t just a millennial trend. While on average the percentage of bleisure travel is slightly higher for millennials, the entire workforce, from Generation X to baby boomers is tacking on leisure days to their business trips in droves.

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HAVE YOU ever been on a work trip and wished you had more time to explore the city’s museums or take a hike in the nearby mountains? Unfortunately, for many of us, the only sightseeing we do when traveling for business is finding a conference centre’s best coffee or exploring the many meeting rooms of an office building.

With the trend catching up among the corporate world, organisations are increasingly arranging trips where professionals mix leisure with business. Believe it or not, bleisure travel isn’t just a millennial trend. While on average the percentage of bleisure travel is slightly higher for millennials, the entire workforce, from Generation X to baby boomers is tacking on leisure days to their business trips in droves. Why? It’s convenient, efficient, cost-effective and let’s face it, a way to make work trips more fun. This likely adds up to happier, re-energized employees, who in turn are more productive and satisfied when they return to the office.

But while bleisure travel is becoming increasingly common, the way we decipher when work travel stops, and personal travel begins isn’t always the same. This trend has given a major boost to travel solution providers who are now crafting intelligent campaigns and packages to attract bleisure seekers. To explore this growing trend further, we defined a bleisure trip as including a Saturday night stay.

Four unique insights that give us a new view into this new norm

It’s not just a millennial thing – all generations are picking up on the trend across India: On average, millennials make up the largest share of bleisure travellers in the country. However, Generation X and baby boomers are not far behind! This trend holds true across the globe with millennials, Generation X and Y and baby boomers extending a similar number of trips to include a Saturday night stay. Generation Z is not yet showing up in any significant way when it comes to business travel.

Bleisure travel is growing extensively: From 2016 to 2017, the number of bleisure trips taken increased in all regions worldwide, with a 46% jump in EMEA, 45% in APAC and 19% in the Americas. Where exactly are these bleisure travellers going? In the Americas the top destinations are NYC, Chicago and Los Angeles; in EMEA, Tel Aviv, London and Paris; and in APAC, Tokyo, Singapore and Shanghai. We compared this to our Hipmunk data which tracks non-business travel. Each of these top bleisure cities are also amongst the top 20 travel destinations for each region – a real testament to the reason folks tend to want to stay an extra couple of days in these cities!

 Respite provision for business and bleisure travellers: In addition to hotels, there are certain increasingly important supplier of accommodations for business travellers in many scenarios including sold out or expensive hotel reservations during a busy trade show, when multiple travellers need to stay together in the same property, or bleisure trips.

Cost and length of bleisure trips follow distinct trends but can vary by industry: September and October are the peak months for bleisure, with 15% and 18% more bleisure trips than the average, respectively. So, which industries are bleisuring the most and for how long?

* Manufacturing, tech and financial services are the top three industries for bleisure trips, accounting for 40% of all bleisure trips

* On average, the length of a bleisure trip is extended roughly two days longer than non-bleisure trips, unless you’re a government contractor, in which case that average extension length is one day longer than travellers from other industries.

Bleisure - mixing business with leisure - is apparently the answer to achieving work-life balance among employees in the corporate sector. More and more workers are adding a leisure component to their official trips. Accommodating bleisure travel can offer a way to demonstrate to employees that a company values their travellers’ well-being and work-life balance. In turn, employees feel more job satisfaction, leading to higher productivity and talent retention


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