Do You Bleisure Travel?

We recently concluded a research project surveying business travelers for a deeper understanding of how they view business travel and how we can make it better. The survey included 2,800 travelers across seven countries. We only included people who work for mid-size to large corporations and who had taken at least five business trips in the last year. 

 There were many interesting and helpful findings that will become an important input into our product strategy. For example, it was great to see that 79% of those surveyed either enjoy or greatly enjoy traveling for business and find it both personally and professionally enriching.  However, there was one discovery that surprised me and has added a new term to my vocabulary: BLEISURE. 

 Bleisure is the combination of leisure or personal travel with a business trip. And of the travelers we surveyed, 55% said that they do. The majority (44% of the total) incorporate personal activities within the time of the business trip while 11% of the total travelers said that they will extend their trip to spend additional time in a location.

 Here are some of the insights about those that bleisure travel:

 ·       Those that travel moderately are more likely to include personal activities than those that travel weekly or only once every few months (60% of moderate travelers include personal activities)

·       Younger travelers are more likely to include personal activities than older travelers (58% of 25-34 year-olds)

·       Upper and middle management is the most likely to include personal activities during their trips (60% of both C-Level Executives and Directors)

·       Single travelers are the most likely to include personal activities in their trips at nearly 60%

·       Those that really enjoy taking business trips are much more likely (63%) to include personal activities than those that rate travel poorly

There are implications all across the travel management landscape for this reality. How can companies accommodate this into their programs to improve service to frequent travelers? What can travel suppliers do to promote leisure activities and extensions to business trips and keep these business travelers loyal when they expand their trip? Can the TMC offer activity planning and booking services to business travelers when they make their plans for the business trip?

 Do you bleisure?