Moving on from the stereotypical ‘all work and no play’ business travellers, today’s travelling professionals are taking advantage of doing business in far flung locations and combining work events with laidback leisure time – bleisure – and it’s a trend that looks set to continue.
“From simply extending a trip to tack on a new city break on the way home to staying on and having a partner or family join at the end of the professional proceedings, the bleisure trend doesn’t look to be abating any time soon,” explains Joint Managing Director, David Goldman.
“We’re anticipating a rise in the number of employers willing to offer more flexibility to their corporate travellers, allowing days in lieu to catch up with family after a conference, for instance, or by staying on for the weekend in a swish hotel enjoying corporate travel rates,” explains Goldman.
“The more flexible and encouraging employers can be in this area, the more satisfied their staff, and the happier the HR department, as extending business trips can be a simple way to prompt employees to use their stored annual leave days, helping manage leave entitlements for the company as a whole.”
Goldman added that deep discounting of international airfares in recent years was another driver of bleisure travel, making it much more affordable for a companion or family member to join a trip. The financial benefit of including a Saturday night stay in a holiday booking, especially in the US market, is another factor in promoting bleisure travel.
In addition, Goldman noted that for many frequent business travellers making a long airline journey for one day’s work an offer to extend the trip for pleasure rather than for business is an especially appealing plan – particularly for millennials who are frequently less willing than previous generations to sacrifice their leisure time to succeed in the workplace.
Goldman explained that the rise of the upmarket airline lounge in airports is another tactic to attract the attention of potential bleisure travellers who may well be up for a pre-flight massage or hair styling session.
Goldman’s pick of the crop includes: Plaza Premium lounges at London’s Heathrow; the Star Alliance lounge in LA; the Qantas First Class Lounge in Sydney; and the Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge in Qatar.