The Rise of Bleisure Travel: Trends and Statistics


June 10, 2024
In recent years, the concept of bleisure travel—combining business with leisure—has gained significant traction among UK professionals.

In recent years, the concept of bleisure travel—combining business with leisure—has gained significant traction among UK professionals. This hybrid approach to travel allows business travellers to extend their trips for leisure purposes, blending work commitments with personal relaxation and exploration.

The rise of bleisure travel is not just a passing trend but a reflection of evolving work cultures and the increasing emphasis on work-life balance. Here, we delve into the trends and statistics that highlight the growth of bleisure travel and its impact on both travellers and businesses.

Understanding the Bleisure Trend

Bleisure travel is driven by several factors, including the desire for a better work-life balance, the flexibility offered by remote working technologies, and the opportunity to explore new destinations without incurring additional travel costs. For UK professionals, bleisure travel presents a chance to make the most of their time abroad, turning routine business trips into enriching experiences.

The trend has been particularly popular among millennials and Generation Z, who value experiences and personal growth. According to a recent study by the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), 83% of millennial business travellers have added leisure components to their work trips. This demographic shift is shaping the future of business travel, with companies increasingly recognising the benefits of supporting bleisure practices.

Statistical Insights into Bleisure Travel

The growth of bleisure travel can be quantified through various statistics and surveys. A report by Expedia Group Media Solutions revealed that 60% of business trips taken by UK professionals now include a leisure component. This indicates a significant rise compared to previous years, highlighting the growing popularity of the trend.

Further research by BridgeStreet Global Hospitality found that 78% of business travellers feel bleisure travel adds value to their work trips. The survey also noted that these travellers are likely to take more frequent trips if they have the opportunity to incorporate leisure activities. This suggests that bleisure travel not only enhances the travel experience but also encourages more business travel overall.

The Benefits of Bleisure Travel

The benefits of bleisure travel extend beyond the individual traveller. For professionals, combining business and leisure can reduce stress, improve job satisfaction, and enhance overall well-being. Taking time to relax and explore a new city can provide a much-needed break from the rigours of business travel, leading to increased productivity and creativity upon returning to work.

For companies, supporting bleisure travel can be a strategic advantage. Encouraging employees to blend business with leisure can result in higher employee retention and attraction rates, as well as improved morale. Businesses that adopt flexible travel policies and offer bleisure-friendly incentives can position themselves as forward-thinking employers, appealing to top talent who prioritise work-life balance.

How Companies Are Adapting

Recognising the benefits of bleisure travel, many companies are adapting their travel policies to accommodate this trend. Organisations are offering more flexible travel arrangements, such as allowing employees to extend their trips for personal reasons and providing stipends for leisure activities. Additionally, companies are partnering with travel agencies and service providers to create packages that cater to both business and leisure needs.

Technology also plays a crucial role in facilitating bleisure travel. Mobile apps and online platforms enable seamless booking of flights, accommodations, and leisure activities, making it easier for travellers to plan and manage their trips. Corporate travel management tools are being updated to include features that support bleisure travel, such as integrated itineraries and expense tracking for both business and leisure components.

Future Predictions for Bleisure Travel

The future of bleisure travel looks promising, with industry experts predicting continued growth in this sector. As remote working becomes more prevalent and travel restrictions ease post-pandemic, the flexibility to combine work and leisure will likely become a standard expectation among business travellers.

Sustainability is another factor that could influence the future of bleisure travel. With increasing awareness of environmental impact, travellers may opt to extend their trips to reduce the frequency of flights, thus minimising their carbon footprint. This approach aligns with the principles of sustainable travel, promoting longer stays and deeper engagement with local cultures and communities.

Challenges and Considerations

Despite its many benefits, bleisure travel also presents certain challenges. Managing the balance between work and leisure can be tricky, especially if business commitments are demanding. Travellers must be adept at time management to ensure that leisure activities do not interfere with their professional responsibilities.

Furthermore, companies need to establish clear policies regarding bleisure travel. This includes guidelines on expense reimbursement, insurance coverage, and the extent to which leisure activities are supported. Transparent communication and well-defined policies can help prevent misunderstandings and ensure that both employees and employers benefit from bleisure travel.