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Are You Part of the Bleisure Group?
You know what they say about all work and no play, right? It makes you a dull person. Today, many travelers mix business and leisure travel and have created a new travel group: Bleisure. It’s also known as bizcations. For example, a seasoned traveler with business in London may take their partner or spouse along and increase the amount of time spent abroad. They incur expenses for their significant other’s extra nights and meals in London at their own expense.
It’s no surprise as to why business travelers have jumped on the bleisure trend. In a recent survey from BridgeStreet Global Hospitality, the majority of respondents (60%) have taken bleisure trips with the top reason being a desire to see the world and gain cultural experiences. Millennials are a fast growing market with 94% of them who will most likely take a bleisure trip in the next five years.
Read on to learn more about the increase in “bleisure” and find out how it may benefit companies.
Bleisure Travelers: A New Group Mixes Business and Leisure Travel
The bleisure traveler adds two vacation days to a trip, which takes the stress out of having to travel for work. For some, their clients will pay for them to arrive a day or two early, so they can be rested and relaxed before meeting and getting to work. This makes sense because if you’re exhausted, you won’t be functioning or engaging at 100 percent.
Arriving early or staying a few days will make you happier because you can see the sites and immerse yourself in the local culture. If your spouse or partner or family travels with you, you can spend time exploring a destination together. The bonus is that you get to use your vacation time (most Americans have vacation time that goes unused).
Wonder how business owners and travel managers feel about bleisure? According to the BridgeStreet survey, 78% of respondents indicated that combining business and leisure travel added value to work assignments. Plus, employee morale, performance and productivity improve when employees are away from the office. The bonus of bleisure is that there are no additional costs to businesses.
Trendy Travel: Bleisure Will Keep on Rising
Only 14% of companies have a bleisure policy, but the trend is catching on, especially since it benefits businesses. If you want to revise your travel policy, include the distinction between business and personal expenses. Consider if employees will use their vacation time for extra days. Think about your risk management policies and if there is a policy that protects the company and employees in an emergency during working and nonworking hours. Give consideration to who will be legally obligated for travel companions who get sick or injured. Tackle these issues and create and implement a solid bleisure travel policy right now.
Combine Business with Leisure Travel
Today, many more people are taking bleisure trips compared to five years ago. If you’re a savvy traveler who’s working for a company that is not taking advantage of bleisure, you’ll find ways to turn your business travel into memorable trips for you, your partner, or family. After all, statistics show that it can benefit business – great selling point!
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Determine which path is right for you
Since lifestyles are becoming blurred, travel agents may find themselves entering the bleisure niche travel market. You may find yourself educating your clientele about the combination business and leisure travel and your offerings. You’ll also want to show clients what to see when they arrive at their destination. You can bring your brand to life with blog posts, email marketing, social media, and direct mail.
Bleisure is a way of life for some business travelers. Others may take leisure vacations; however, they bring their mobile devices with them, so they can do some work and be available in case of an emergency.
It makes sense for business professionals to combine their business and leisure travel. If you can spend time with loved ones while visiting Athens, Greece, why wouldn’t you bring them along? Not only can you learn about the city and country you’d doing business in, but you can enjoy the time you have together. After all kids, grow up fast and who knows if and when you’ll get the chance to travel abroad together. And don’t forget that bleisure may have a positive effect on your company’s bottom line.
by Amandah T. Blackwell, Savvy-Writer