Between business and leisure travel: what is the business of bleisure

This is the new trend on which companies are working to align their employees’ business trips with leisure situations.

New words quickly enter the vocabulary of transportation and the world of travel. And companies must quickly adapt to these words, which effectively highlight the development of a trend. Have you ever thought about extending your business trip by a few days, perhaps over the weekend, to have the opportunity to visit a destination you’ve always wanted to see? If your answer is yes, then we’re talking about bleisure, a term that is gaining more and more traction in the world of travel.

It’s actually millennials who prefer this option. Bleisure is essentially the blending of a business trip (from the word “business travel” in English) with leisure travel. This phenomenon stems from the desire of travelers who have always expressed a willingness to extend their trip to explore a tourist destination. According to a study by the Global Business Travel Association, almost 90 percent of business travelers are willing to extend their trip (perhaps over the weekend). It’s not hard to believe.

There are other positive points to consider. Perhaps few people know that ticket prices are on average higher when departing on Monday and returning in the same week (especially for long-haul flights). By extending by one or two days, it may be that the airfare price is actually lower than that found for the business trip alone. These savings could also occur for long-haul flights and could even exceed the cost of an additional night’s stay in a hotel.

Operational management

The word “bleisure” is not only gaining ground, at least among industry insiders, but in practice it is increasingly used by travelers. However, there is a flip side to the coin: how should it be managed by companies sending their employees on business trips? Bleisure actually opens up Pandora’s box for corporate issues, such as bureaucracy and insurance.

Take, for example, a business traveler who, after attending a trade fair from Monday to Friday in Barcelona, ​​decides to stay over the weekend in the same Spanish city for leisure reasons. Firstly, it is not certain that a company would want to buy the return ticket on Sunday instead of Friday evening, even if the price were lower. The traveler may also decide to independently pay for their own hotel, but additional problems remain. For example, an employee’s travel insurance does not always cover a longer period than the trip itself.

The same problem could arise if, for example, over the weekend the traveler wanted to drive to Sitges with a rental car. In this case too, there may be insurance issues. And then there are bureaucratic problems on how to consider the relative days of business travel over the weekend. How are they considered from a contributory point of view?

Without going into too much detail, it is clear that in the face of an increasingly strong desire on the part of business travelers, there is a potential complication for the company managing the trip. Many of these problems can actually be solved through products that exist on the market or through flexible management by the human resources of the companies themselves. But it is clear that it is not easy to change mindset within companies and even in public administration.

What can we learn from the bleisure case? The word was introduced into the vocabulary only 10 years ago and is studied by even fewer, but as we have seen, it becomes increasingly important for the traveler. The number of business trips is increasing globally, but it is clear that needs change over the years. In general, we can say that business travel is constantly evolving because the consumer itself is evolving.

 

Source: https://www.wired.it/economia/lavoro/2019/10/09/bleisure-lavoro/

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