Business travellers are increasingly looking to mix business with pleasure in a new trend that is dominating the world. The so-called ‘bleisure’ phenomenon is undergoing exponential growth as corporate travel combined with some element of leisure is becoming more attainable with global economic conditions improving rapidly. Long-haul trips conclude quicker than ever, and hotel experiences are more accustomed to facilitating business requirements. This push enables the creation of a brand new form of travel – one, where the demand for frequent business trips and all attributes of a short break is met, introducing a new standard and range of services and facilities by hotels and carriers.
There has long been a segment of the business population that has the flexibility and resources to be able to enjoy a lifestyle of blended leisure and corporate travel. In fact, the culture of bleisure is nothing new as figures from travel website Skift’s “The Bleisure Report” demonstrate that 83% of people on a business trip report they use their free time to explore the city they’re visiting - one of the most popular leisure activities among travellers.
Bleisure is truly a business traveller’s dream realised as it combines the best of two worlds. Adding a few personal days on top of an already planned corporate trip can make a big difference and prove to be lots of fun. There is a fine line between meeting the demanding pace of a challenging career and a healthy lifestyle. Frequent corporate travel is not something that is inconvenient and exhausting any longer since you get to factor in a few days of the personal time you get, to spend as you want. In many cases companies are even willing to accommodate flexible arrangements with their employees, provided that they can balance work responsibilities with leisure activities.
This flexibility gives business travel a whole new element of personal fulfilment, where you get to enjoy a wide array of activities with friends or family you’ve brought along.
In fact, a stressful trip to meet with new clients can be fully transformed into a bonding family treat or a romantic getaway. Business travellers have come to realise the potential of finding the compromise between the opposing demands of a busy career and a healthy life, going as far as changing their expectations as to what companies are willing to offer regarding paid days off, travel expenses covered, and working hours flexibility. The labour market is becoming more exacting of workers when it comes to skills, knowledge and value they bring to the company, but it has also shifted focus towards keeping these same employees happy by giving them more freedom in defining their work schedule. Now, frequent flyers can enjoy the opportunity of healthy travel through the benefits of shared pleasure.
What’s even more – business travellers can enjoy other benefits in crisscrossing the globe on corporate trips on a frequent basis. They can collect rewards and points on aeroplane and credit cards that can be used to subsidise or upgrade their holidays. This flexible range of benefits allows people to switch to first class or spend complimentary nights at exclusive hotels – things they couldn’t otherwise afford. VIP concert tickets, room upgrades and other events are also available through the use of individual airlines and credit cards, making business travel the getaway to the good life.
Many service companies, resorts and tour operators have noticed the smart strategy of extending corporate work trips into holidays. This understanding has led to the creation of a whole new segment of services targeted at people who often travel, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of a full-blown vacation in the few days that they have available. In many ways, these short weekend or weekday getaways are more affordable, enjoyable and full of experiences than a planned and booked-in-advance annual holiday and business travellers have come to embrace the new culture of bleisure to the full.
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