New research from Expedia Media Solutions shows that bleisure travel is thriving, with more than 60% of business trips in the past year including a leisure portion.
The research - unveiled at the Phocuswright Europe conference in Amsterdam this week - examines the behaviors of bleisure travelers from America, the United Kingdom, China, Germany and India, who across the board take more than six business trips per year.
In the US, the trend has jumped nearly 40% since 2016 when just 43% of business trips were bleisure trips.
Bleisure trips are most likely to result from business trips lasting two or three nights (50%) and in destinations more than 400 miles from travelers’ homes (49%).
Although 71% of business travel happens domestically, business trips that turn into bleisure trips are split almost evenly across domestic or international destinations.
Tacking on a leisure component to a business travel can almost double a traveler’s length of stay on a trip.
In an interview with PhocusWire, Andrew van der Feltz, senior director of EMEA and APAC for Expedia Media Solutions, says the length of stay for bleisure travelers in India and Germany in particular - where people spend equal amounts of time on the business and leisure parts of their trips - is surprising, compared to other regions where the business portion is longer.
He says he’s also surprised at bleisure travelers’ preferred payment methods, with 69% preferring credit cards, 47% preferring cash and a growing 26% opting for mobile pay. “If you really want to capture this market – if you really want to transact from a leisure point of view – you need to accept their payment methods.”
About 80% of bleisure travelers spend one to five hours on research during both the inspiration and planning phases – a more condensed amount of time compared to typical leisure booking windows.
Before committing to a bleisure trip, 68% of travelers perform research using a search engine, 47% use sites such as online travel agencies, airline and hotel sites and review sites and 44% use destination sites.
For travel sites, an der Feltz says there’s a “huge opportunity for an in-market approach” to show travelers things to see or do and make ancillary sales.
He also says using technology to understand where the bookings or billings are coming from is another opportunity to target consumers.