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Five Quick Insights Into the State of Bleisure

By / Mar 6, 2018 (mihtiander/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

One of the hottest trends in business travel, the integration of leisure time into the trip, is heating up. Here are just a few insights into the nature of the trend.

You’ve heard the word. You know all about bleisure and how it’s changing the world of business travel.

Hey, even associations can help meeting attendees embrace it.

But are you following along with the latest and greatest contours of what’s become a prominent trend? Here are just a few smart insights into the shifting nature of bleisure:

Millennials are the driving factor behind bleisure. According to a recent report by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation, young adults do most of the bleisure travel. Among all respondents, 37 percent said they extended a work trip for purposes of play, compared with 48 percent of millennials.

Technology is a key part of the bleisure experience. With millennials often doing double duty with their schedules, they want to have their information handy at all times. According to a recent Travelport study focused on the U.K. market, 44 percent of millennial business travelers said a lack of immediately accessible travel information was a major pain point. That’s far higher than the 32 percent of gen X-ers and 12 percent of baby boomers who felt the same way.

Bleisure is proving a major boost for the travel industry. With the growing number of trips that include a component of business—around 17 percent in 2016, according to Travel Weekly—the travel industry is sensing opportunity. The magazine notes that some companies, like the online agency CheapOair and Asiana Airlines, have seen the segment grow significantly in recent years and have adapted their models in response.

Travelers split work and play onto different cards. In recent comments to NerdWallet, Booking.com for Business Senior Director of Product Development Ripsy Bandourian noted that many bleisure travelers need to manage multiple types of expenses—personal and business—on a single trip. The easy solution involves using multiple credit cards. “We’ve found that many employees will have two separate credit cards—one for business expenses and one for personal expenses—which makes it easier for reporting purposes,” she explained. Tnooz reports that bleisure is just one factor behind the declining use of cash in transit.

Bleisure is even inspiring fashion. The one downside of the bleisure trend is that it means more luggage, as you have to carry clothes for both work and play. Or do you? Fast Company notes the existence of a startup called Par en Par, which creates versatile clothing that can be used in either business or more casual settings. Now if only they could produce an ironic T-shirt that could look good in a boardroom.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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