Bleisure is a comparatively new buzzword for the travel industry and has been cited as an emerging trend in the last couple of years in the travel segment. The idea of combining business and leisure travel is definitely not outlandish as the latest reports found 83% of global business travelers take time on business trips to explore their destination. More than 37% of them have been found to add personal leave days along with their corporate trips.
Given the lack of long holiday scopes, most of the standard business or corporate trips are preceded or succeeded by two to three days of personal trips. Probably, this is how the new global business travelers’ definition would be for the new age millennials. Although this basic definition might not fit into all bleisure trips, which is why it is difficult to determine the complete extent of the bleisure phenomenon. Nevertheless, it allows detecting the trends and variations in the bleisure segment and also understanding its mechanism.
Tying in leisure services to enhance business travel
The projected growth of the millennials in the travel industry promises a growing uptake of bleisure travel in the coming years. The TMCs can create the contrivance for managing the crossover business and leisure trip within effective budget plans. What matters is whether the employees taking this discount offer of leisure travel can bring back greater incentive to the company. Also, it is essential to keep in mind the impact in the employers’ policy planning in the overall picture.
Traveling for business created brouhaha in the travel industry as it comes with the chance to leisurely explore new destinations. The 2014 Bleisure Report by Bridgestreet Global Hospitality showed that 20% of 35 to 64 year employees combined a business tour with leisure holiday1. It also showed that about 94% of employees under 35 year old are most likely to indulge in a bleisure trip. Desultory planning also affects the overall budget of the trip.
Thus, to carry the patina of this blip trend of the travel industry, TMCs need to keep in mind certain factor such as:
- How to split the accommodations between leisure and business days?
- How to manage the cost coverage till the end of the meeting?
- How many leisure days will be accommodated with the business trip
- What major factors to keep in mind for the expense reports of a bleisure trip?
As a travel provider, you might be in quandary whether to tag leisure travel options with business trips. When a third party is involved like TMC, the three operational areas need to be satisfied i.e. the employee travel, budget control and adhering to compliance. The sole perspective of bleisure trips is to create a favorable procurement option from travel suppliers.
What Travel Agents should include in a bleisure trip
Many companies today when hiring a travel agency for business not only look for professional assistance on the trip management front but also of the peripheral leisure industry which can be amalgamated with the business tour. Travel recruiting services use their connections within the industry to recruit the best potential candidates and retain them and bleisure is definitely a trap to keep them glued to the company. Sightseeing, dining, and local cultural experiences are the top three bleisure travel options.
Hoteliers can provide a wide range of additional choices to business travelers, for example by providing local experts and allies, advising guests on what to do and what to see in the cities they travel for business while also highlighting on famous dining spots and the unique culture helps to add intangible value to the trip. These add-on services from the hoteliers or travel providers create new revenue streams while making them stand out in business travelers’ minds for proving a memorable stay against the conventional business tours.
Should every travel management company embrace Bleisure?
The younger generation is suggestively more interested in arranged business trips which successfully offer a leisure trip with it. Today, bleisure is almost a primary global phenomenon in the corporate travel sector. Carlson Wagonlit Travel defines a bleisure trip on the basis of arrival at the destination on a Saturday and departure from the destination on Sunday. However, it is difficult to precisely define how combining business and leisure travel will affect travel management roles and responsibilities rather than just creating a sybaritic sense amongst the employees.
Complementing business and leisure ideas in the same trip might seem a compelling logic as not every employee is positioned to enjoy benefits of bleisure equally. Also shenanigans in bleisure trip are a real time challenge which can hamper employer priorities and interests and also create drift amongst employees.
Recent trends in bleisure
CWT found in its recent study that the phenomenon of business travelers who love to take on additional leisure travel days along with their business trip has remained static off late, putting the overall drift questionable. Consistent study about the travelers who would like to combine work and tourism and their preferred places to travel has been into question since the inception of bleisure trend. It showed that female travelers who rarely travel for work are most likely the bunch of travelers who would add a leisure trip to their corporate tours. Also, travelers within the age group of 20 and 25 are expected to add the leisure component in their work trips.
The top U.S. bleisure destinations remain the top domestic leisure destinations of the country. However, Europe’s most preferred tourist destinations like Rome isn’t the top bleisure travel destinations for corporate. Portugal, Spain, Istanbul are the most attractive places for most of the business travelers.
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