Bleisure popularity once again on the rise

SAP Concur travel and expense data gathered between January 2017 and December 2017 there’s an increasing trend to break out of the confines of a typical business trip. In fact, “bleisure” trips, as we’ve come to know them, where a traveller combines business travel and leisure travel into one trip, increased by 20% from 2016 to 2017. And during this time, more than 2.2 million bleisure trips were taken by business travellers around the globe, making up 10% of total business trips.

It’s not just a millennial thing – all generations are picking up on the trend across the globe

On average, millennials make up the largest share of bleisure travellers in the world, accounting for 38% of all bleisure trips in the Americas region in 2017, however Generation X (31%) and baby boomers (31%) are not far behind! This trend holds true across the globe with millennials, Generation X and Y and baby boomers extending a similar number of trips to include a Saturday night stay. Generation Z is not yet showing up in any significant way when it comes to business travel.

Bleisure travel is growing around the world

From 2016 to 2017, the number of bleisure trips taken increased in all regions worldwide, with a 46% jump in EMEA, 45% in APAC and 19% in the Americas.

Where exactly are these bleisure travellers going? In the Americas the top destinations are NYC, Chicago, and Los Angeles; in EMEA, Tel Aviv, London, and Paris; and in APAC, Tokyo, Singapore, and Shanghai.

Cost and length of bleisure trips follow distinct trends globally, but can vary by industry

Globally, September and October are the peak months for bleisure, with 15% and 18% more bleisure trips than the average, respectively. So, which industries are bleisuring the most and for how long?

  • Manufacturing, tech, and financial services are the top three industries for bleisure trips, accounting for 40% of all bleisure trips in 2017.
  • On average, the length of a bleisure trip is extended roughly two days longer than non-bleisure trips, unless you’re a government contractor, in which case that average extension length is one day longer than travellers from other industries.

What do travel managers need to consider? 

Are you covered? Is blended travel already included in your policy, and is there broader employee awareness of the policy? Make plans to communicate the details sooner than later, since it’s likely travellers are already blending their business and leisure trips without direct knowledge of the policy terms.

Do you know where your employees are? Clear traveller safety and duty of care policies become increasingly important during bleisure trips, so determine and clearly define what portion of employee trips will be covered by the company’s travel insurance.

Who picks up the tab? Who pays for what – and how? It’s common for companies to cover all costs for the days their travellers are there for business as well as the round-trip flight, while the employee foots the bill for anything associated with their personal time off. Expense reporting can get tricky, though, if you don’t define when business ends and leisure begins and establish clear processes to separate the two.

Who books what? Decide whether employees will be allowed to book bleisure trips through your company’s OBT.

To read more visit, SAP Concur’s blog post: Do You Bleisure? The Word We Love to Hate is Gaining Popularity Across the Globe