“Bleisure” continues to be a major – and growing – part of business travel. In a new survey by Great Hotels of the World (GHOTW), 75 percent of respondents said that they had extended their business trips for leisure purposes in the past year, in most cases multiple times. The trend was especially frequent among those who take five or more trips in a year, according to the poll.
The first Bleisure Survey from the hotel representation company also found that business travel as a whole is continuing to grow, with over half of the respondents saying that they had traveled five times or more in the past year. Additionally, nearly 70 percent of all travelers took trips to destinations that required flights of four or more hours, although only 30 percent take this type of trip frequently, meaning three or more times per year. Frequent travelers also tend to frequent luxury and upscale hotels, according to the poll: 50 percent of frequent business travelers choose upscale hotels, while less than 20 percent of infrequent business travelers (three to four times per year) choose them, and only 10 percent that travel occasionally (one to two times per year) stay at upscale hotels.
Zooming in on bleisure, 44 percent of respondents said that they feel the trip type has been on the rise, and that it will increase further in the future. Fifty-nine percent of bleisure travelers booked the leisure part of the trip directly with the accommodation provider, but 22 percent of frequent travelers booked the leisure part of the trip through their corporate travel agent.
In terms of who’s going, 56 percent of travelers had friends or family joined them, while 43 percent flew solo. When business travelers are joined by friends or family, 72 percent are joined by only one person. Twenty-nine percent of respondents, however, said that they were joined by three or more people.
Where do bleisure travelers stay? Seventy-two percent of respondents stayed in the same accommodation for both the business and leisure part of their trip. Among those who did change, 42 percent opted for a cheaper hotel, while 38 percent chose a vacation rental, such as an Airbnb apartment or house, which GHOTW attributed to trying to stick to a budget.