Bleisure traveller growth jumps 40% in the US since 2016 as almost two in three global business travellers extend stays into bleisure breaks

Although mixing business and leisure is arguably as old as business travel itself, “bleisure” has become a business in and of itself, and the number of travellers tacking on some down time to their corporate travel is growing.


Summary:

  • ‘Bleisure’ travel has become a new buzzword in the travel industry and although nothing new, it has become a hot topic for businesses, hotels and destinations;
  • New study from Expedia Group Media Solutions shows roughly 60% of business travellers in the US, UK, China, Germany and India extended business trips during the last year for leisure purposes;
  • Expedia’s research shows leading factors that influence bleisure travel comprise destinations with great entertainment (48%) and visiting an iconic or bucket list destination;
  • Findings shows traveller demographic means there’s a profound opportunity for destination marketers to reach and entice this valuable audience.

A new study from Expedia Group Media Solutions (conducted by Luth Research) shows roughly 60% of business travellers in the US, UK, China, Germany and India extended business trips during the last year for leisure purposes.

“In the US, bleisure travel conversion is consistent with the multinational average of 60%, revealing a nearly 40% increase in American bleisure travel since 2016”, the study stated.

Roughly 50% of business trips with a duration of two-to-three nights are likely to result in a bleisure trips, with a 49% conversion rate with the business destination is more than 400 miles from a traveler’s home, the study’s findings show.

CHART – Latest insights from Expedia Group Media Solutions clearly highlight that “bleisure is booming” as a marketSource: Expedia’s Unpacking Bleisure Traveler Trends.

Expedia’s research shows the leading factors that influence bleisure travel decisions are travelling to a destination with great entertainment (48%), and visiting an iconic or bucket list destination.

There also appears to be an appetite to travel from a business destination for leisure. The study determine more than 80% of bleisure travelers are willing to travel from the business destination for leisure, and on both domestic and international trips, more than 50% of travellers are willing to travel by car for one-to-two hours for the leisure portion of their trip.

In terms of bleisure research and booking. roughly 80% of those travellers spend one-to-five hours on research in both the inspiration and planning phases, which is more condensed than leisure booking windows, said Expedia.

One key takeaway from the study for marketers is, with 60% of business trips converting to bleisure and with travellers taking more than six business trips per year, “there’s a profound opportunity to reach and entice this valuable audience”, said Expedia.

Key findings from the report include:

Bleisure Travel is Booming: 60% of business trips convert to bleisure, and with travellers taking more than six business trips per year, on average, there’s a profound opportunity to reach and entice this valuable audience;

Bleisure Knows No Boundaries: There is nearly equal likelihood of bleisure travel for both domestic and international business trips, and travellers are willing to travel away from the business destination for leisure;

Condensed Path to Purchase: Most bleisure travellers spend less time on research than they would on a leisure trip, so marketers have a shorter window to strategically target and influence behaviour and purchases with call to action messaging;

Destination To-Do’s: With nearly 70% of business trips being for conferences, there is an opportunity for destinations to encourage extending for leisure by highlighting activities and experiences to drive repeat visitation;

In Market Targeting:  Bleisure travellers may not book everything in advance, highlighting opportunities for marketers to reach and convert travellers in-trip – especially for ancillary products like dining, tours and activities, entertainment and
transportation.

READ MORE: Download the report: Unpacking Bleisure Traveler Trends