“Millennials love to combine business and leisure travel.” More than a year ago, bleisure was heralded as the new segment for travel agents to focus on. Did the bleisure trend live up to expectations? Short answer: yes.
The article Millennials are turning business travel into weekend getaways on Quartzy immediately piqued our interest. More than a year ago, we briefly discussed bleisure in one of our patented blogs, and we’ve run updates on bleisure trips in Mauritius, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa.
Time to take stock – is bleisure still hot, re-heated or cooled off completely?
The rise of bleisure travel from A to Z
This article on tnooz – sponsored by Travel Centre Travel Group USA – thoroughly examines the phenomenon of bleisure travel and heralds it as the new travel segment to concentrate on.
Their case is strengthened by surprising statistics (such as “Travel Associates estimates that 20%-30% of their bookings would be classified as bleisure travel.”) and is presented from all sides – travellers, businesses and travel agents.
Not objective? Perhaps. Convincing? Absolutely.
Ups and downs: the bleisure rollercoaster
Just when we thought bleisure had taken off, reports like this one started trickling in: Bleisure Travel Isn’t Growing, Despite What Trends Might Say. Their case in one sentence?
“Our research found that the percentage of business travel trips that are also bleisure trips has remained static over the last five years, calling the overall trend into question.”
Besides a blistering critique of bleisure travel, the article on Skift also features some very interesting titbits on demographical differences and bleisure-hotspots. (Women are more likely to engage in bleisure travel and the top 2 bleisure destinations in the world are San Francisco and London.)
A recent resurgence?
Despite scepticism, the status of bleisure travel today is hard to scorn. Especially considering recent reports such as this one – in which a business owner cites a yearly rise of 20% for 3 year running – are being published regularly.
Just last month, PhocusWire reported on a research paper by Expedia that claims that more than 60% of business trips include leisure components. They cite ancillary services as the premiere way for travel agents to get in on the action.
What about bleisure in Africa?
In this article First Group director and spokesperson, Johann Jordaan says he believes that bleisure has made business travel less of a nuisance and more of a lifestyle: “With the pressures of a tight economy, the affordability of bleisure travel makes sense for many South Africans and will be a driving factor that continues to grow this category of travel in 2018 and beyond.”
This seems to ring true for Richard Holmes as well, who chatted in this blog to Melinda Seia, Africa Product Manager at Wildlife Safari, who extended her visit to the We Are Africa trade show with a trip to the Lower Zambezi National Park.
Who are these bleisure travellers?
Originally introduced as a trend for millennials, bleisure travel has since transcended generational clichés. So much so that Expedia published a Profile of the American Bleisure Traveler just last year. We’ve gathered the 3 main takeaways to save you a click:
- Business trips that last 3+ days are 30% more likely to be followed by an additional leisure trip.
- 59% of respondents say that cost-saving is a driving factor to engage in bleisure travel.
- 66% of bleisure travelers spend more money on leisure activities because of the money they saved on travel.
In the name of bleisure!
One side that we have not covered: linguistics. A recent article in the South China Morning Post calls the word bleisure an ugly, grimace-inducing portmanteau and equated it with honeyteering, hurrication, and staycation. Ouch.
Hot or not, that is the question
We started out this short trip with one central question: was bleisure always destined to be a short-lived fad, or will it continue to be a trend to be reckoned with? After taking a tour of the industry, it seems that, despite a rocky start, bleisure travel has taken off for good.
We gladly refer you back to our first link to find out how travel agents can capitalize on that trend. Or you could go your own way – backed by Amadeus technology, of course.