As millennials make up a growing share of the workforce, they’ve begun to capitalize on a new, unofficial work perk.
“Bleisure” travel – the trend of blending business with leisure activities on business trips – is on the rise, although this does not include business trips where travellers take time to explore the destination after their work is done for the day.
It typically takes the form of business travellers extending the duration of their trip, in order to enjoy leisure activities, which may range from sightseeing and relaxation, through to hiking, visiting entertainment venues, or attending events.
Since millennials are now the most frequent business travellers, the bleisure trend has mostly been tied to this generation. Millennials are no strangers to being named the cause of trends that challenge traditional assumptions about business, and many members of this generation claim that better work-life balance is a top priority.
This makes it not so surprising that millennial business travellers would want to take some time for themselves if they are already in a new destination.
What are the advantages of bleisure travel
For the traveller, the primary advantages are likely to be a boost in morale and a reduction in stress. Allowing bleisure travel may help a business by increasing the number of employees who are actually willing to go away on business trips, while the subsequent morale boost can result in improvements to productivity.
For the travel industry, the rise of the bleisure tourist means visitors who are willing to stay longer and spend more money in the process.
Many business travellers return to the same location repeatedly, or at least more than once. With this in mind, bleisure trips offer an opportunity for travellers to get to know the location and its culture better. This, in turn, can help to improve the quality of work done, while allowing more meaningful business relationships to be formed.
Finally, bleisure offers the possibility of business travel with a companion, such as a friend, partner or colleague. This can help to alleviate boredom, prevent feelings of isolation and assist with overall enjoyment of the trip.
There are many factors that influence a traveler’s decision to extend a business trip with leisure time, with number one being the destination. When considering the destination, distance plays a major role, as the closer the travel destination is to home, the lower the bleisure travel rate. For example international business trips from London to Los Angeles were the most likely to be bleisure trips. The reasoning behind this is perfectly logical, as the closer the destination, the easier and more affordable it is for travelers to visit some other time.
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