LISBON, PORTUGAL—According to a new survey by Great Hotels of the World (GHOTW), bleisure is a rapidly growing trend, especially among frequent travelers who take five or more trips a year. One key takeaway: 75% of respondents extended business trips for leisure purposes in the past year, in most cases multiple times.
“Business travelers are drawn to extend their stay when they can find properties that offer both excellent business amenities in addition to perks not found in smaller, boutique hotels—this is the best of both worlds,” said GHOTW CEO Pedro Colaco, noting that perks bleisure travelers are looking for include late-night room service, on-property gyms, meeting space, and extended breakfast catering options.
Highlights from the survey include the following:
- Despite technology, there is nothing quite like human interaction: Business travel as a whole just keeps on growing. More than half of the travelers polled travel five or more times a year (making them frequent travelers).
- Business travel is pushing the borders of countries and continents: Nearly 70% of all travelers took trips to destinations with flights of four hours duration or more. However, only 30% of business travelers polled take this type of trip frequently (three or more times a year).
- Upscale and luxury hotels are favored by frequent travelers: 50% of frequent business travelers (five or more trips per year) choose upscale hotels,while less than 20% of infrequent business travelers (three to four times a year) choose them, and only 10% that travel occasionally (one to two times a year) stay at upscale hotels.
- Some 44% of travelers feel that bleisure has been on the riseand will increase further in the future.
- The overwhelming majority of bleisure travelers (59%)booked the leisure part of the trip directly with the accommodation provider. However, 22% of frequent travelers booked the leisure part of the trip through the corporate travel agent.
- While a majority of travelers (56%) have family or friends joining them,43% are solo travelers on bleisure trips.
- When business travelers are joined by family or friends for the leisure part of the trip, a vast majority (72%) are joined by only one person, i.e. one double room. However, 29% of respondents indicated that the leisure part of their trip involves three or more people, showing even greater potential for more business.
- Some 72% of survey respondents stayed in the same accommodation for the leisure part of their trip. For those who did change their accommodation, budget was clearly an issue, with 42% opting for a cheaper hotel and 38% choosing a short-rental, such as an Airbnb-type apartment or house.