‘Bleisure’, a trend of combining a work trip with leisure activities, is becoming a mainstream and sustained component of travel and hospitality demand, according to new data from global professional services firm Alvarez & Marsal.

According to the survey of 3818 global travellers, close to a third (31%) have taken combined business and leisure trips in the past 12 months. When examining the reasons behind the growth, the prevailing motivation was the flexibility afforded by working schedules (41%), demonstrating the profound impact that additional versatility around working schedules, post-pandemic, is having upon holiday habits. Other motivations included the cost of living (37%), the facilities at the accommodation (36%) and availability of family or friends at the destination (31%).

Regarding the approach to bleisure travel, only a minority (27%) indicated the preference for leisure as a precursor to a work-related trip, whilst nearly half (45%) extended their business trips with leisure activity at the end, showing a desire to unwind and explore following work commitments, see Table 1. Notably, bleisure trips tend to be relatively short in duration, with only 4% of respondents opting to extend their stay by five nights or more.

Table 1: Methods of combining business and leisure travel

Business trip with added leisure time at the end45%
Leisure trip with added remote work at the start36%
Business trip with added leisure time at the start27%
Leisure trip with added remote work at the end21%

Alvarez & Marsal managing director and head of travel, hospitality, and leisure, Ed Bignold, said: “The travel industry has demonstrated extraordinary post-Covid resilience, and the rise of ‘bleisure’ trips to a mainstream travel option is yet another example of how the industry has adapted and flexed to consumers’ ever-changing preferences.

“This latest data is most interesting however, as it provides evidence that the new ‘bleisure’ demand base is both more significant than many expected and being sustained over a meaningful period of time, which therefore has implications for how travel and hospitality operators are defining their products, brands and distribution, as well as for investors and owners insofar as the CAPEX choices being made at the asset level.”

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