Life is too short to waste it behind a desk, but life is also too expensive to quit your job. Bleisure has come to solve your dilemma, acting as a golden middle ground. No, it is not a foreign word, but a unique blend of business and leisure. Bleisure – a new travel trend and the topic of today’s discussion. Let’s go.
Forget the days of sterile hotel rooms and endless conference calls. Bleisure, short for Business Leisure, the dynamic mashup of business and leisure, is redefining travel in 2024, blurring the lines between productivity and wanderlust. And while you are still trying to figure out what bleisure is and how you can make it part of your life, the world already has huge numbers in the bleisure market and very promising market predictions.
Statistics tell the story:
- The bleisure travel market was valued at nearly $594,51 billion in 2023 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 19.5% and reach $3,530.53 billion by 2033.
- 33% of business trips now incorporate leisure elements.
- 12% of airline passengers are business travelers, contributing billions of dollars in revenue.
- Many travel platforms are already offering a new business travel category with services tailored to specific needs.
- Europe will continue to dominate as the top bleisure destination, with a 30% market share.
- Bleisure travelers are mostly middle-management employees (2/5 of the market) with an average annual income of $80.000.
- Millennials and Gen Z lead the way, with 67% planning bleisure trips in the next year.
- Men are more likely to choose bleisure than women.
The rising demand for Bleisure: Factors driving the industry boom
This exciting trend isn’t just a fad or a TikTok trend; it is a purpose-driven solution “justified” (some still have to justify their need for travel) by a powerful confluence of factors.
Shifting employee preferences
- Work-life balance: Millennials and Gen Z have finally started prioritizing well-being and experiences over solely career-driven pursuits, which is great. Bleisure empowers them to integrate work and leisure in a sophisticated way, not sacrificing any.
- Personalized travel: Today’s travelers crave unique, authentic experiences. Bleisure allows them to personalize business trips, adding adventure, cultural immersion, or personal exploration to their agenda.
- Tech-enabled flexibility: Remote work technologies and flexible arrangements make business travel less challenging and more manageable.
Employer recognition and benefits
- Talent attraction and retention: Employees paying more attention to flexible working models also get attracted to bleisure opportunities. Offering bleisure as a benefit enhances employer branding and attracts top talent in a competitive job market. After all, businesses thrive when employees are happy and engaged.
- Increased productivity and creativity: We are not choosing bleisure just for fun (as much as we would like to); studies show that bleisure experiences are indeed a win-win solution. It reduces stress, improves mental focus, and boosts creativity. Again, happy employees, aka higher productivity.
Evolving travel and tech landscapes
- Improved connectivity and mobile tools: Bleisure couldn’t be possible, if not for the advancements in travel technology, communication tools, and co-working spaces that allow seamless work-life integration.
- Growth of bleisure-friendly services: Hotels, airlines, and travel companies are offering packages and services to bleisure travelers, making planning and execution easier.
Changing societal trends
- Focus on wellness and experiences: Back to work-life balance, the tendency is quite obvious. Look at the digital nomads in Bali; they are really inspiring and making you reimagine your life.
- Blurring lines between work and leisure: The traditional 9-to-5 work model is fading. Bleisure reflects this shift, embracing a more integrated approach to work and personal life.
What does bleisure mean to hoteliers?
Bleisure is not only a travel trend but a huge business opportunity and a whole new service for travel agencies and hoteliers. To make the most of the trend, there are things to be focused on.
- Premium room packages: Hotels can offer bleisure-specific packages with add-ons like spa treatments, fitness classes, or city tours, attracting higher-spending guests.
- Co-working spaces: Equipping designated on-site co-working areas with reliable Wi-Fi and tech amenities to cater to bleisure travelers’ work needs.
- Flexible amenities: Providing flexible check-in and check-out times, luggage storage options, and laundry services to accommodate travelers’ diverse needs.
- Collaboration with local communities: To help business travelers switch from business to leisure and decide on staying longer, businesses should provide maximum information about things to do.
Bleisure as a new landscape for investment opportunities
The bleisure trend is not just reshaping travel; it’s creating a promising ground for diverse and exciting investment opportunities across various sectors. Some investment opportunities have already proven extremely profitable.
- Bleisure-focused hotels and resorts to cater specifically to bleisure travelers with flexible co-working spaces, fitness centers, curated local experiences, and extended stay packages.
- Co-living spaces, designed for digital nomads and bleisure travelers with work-friendly environments, community events, and convenient locations near business districts.
- Boutique hotels and vacation rentals for travelers seeking unique and authentic experiences.
Technology and services
- Online bleisure travel platforms to curate bleisure-friendly destinations, recommend local experiences, and allow the booking of work-life integrated packages.
- Wellness and productivity apps, designed to help business travelers manage their work-life balance, optimize their time, and improve productivity while on the go.
Transportation and logistics
- Air travel and airlines offering flexible ticket options, and loyalty programs focused on bleisure travelers.
- Airport infrastructure and amenities like co-working areas, luggage storage solutions, and quick check-in/out procedures.
- Urban mobility solutions such as ride-sharing apps, bike-sharing services, or other convenient transportation options.
Experiences and activities
- Local tours and cultural experiences
- Fitness and wellness retreats
- Culinary experiences and cooking classes
Top destinations for bleisure
Let’s be clear. The choice of destination in business leisure purely depends on the business travel destination. Often, travelers have no freedom to choose a destination; they simply extend their stay and turn business into leisure.
In another scenario, a traveler is free to choose a destination to work remotely. Choosing the top 3 destinations for bleisure in 2024 depends on factors like your desired balance of work and leisure, cultural preferences, and accessibility. However, based on current trends and bleisure-friendly features, here are 3 exciting options to consider:
- Prime location: Lisbon’s strategic position in Europe makes it easily accessible from major cities, and its time zone compatibility with the US minimizes disruption.
- Work: Lisbon’s booming tech scene, with its variety of co-working spaces and incubators, is a magnet for entrepreneurs and digital nomads.
- Leisure: The historical and colorful city of Lisbon offers charming architecture, delicious food, lively nightlife, and easy access to beautiful beaches.
- Bonus: The city is relatively affordable compared to other European capitals, with a growing bleisure community, dedicated events, and activities.
Seoul, South Korea
- Work: The destination offers a global business hub, advanced technology infrastructure, and an excellent work-life balance culture.
- Leisure: The dynamic city has cutting-edge trends, unique street food, stunning palaces and temples, and exciting nightlife.
- Bonus: Efficient public transportation, a safe and clean environment, and a blend of traditional and modern experiences are ideal for bleisure.
Dubai, United Arab Emirate
- Work: The emerging business hub has growing co-working options and luxurious hotels with dedicated workspaces.
- Leisure: The destination offers world-class shopping malls, iconic landmarks, stunning desert landscapes, and vibrant nightlife.
- Strong connection between European cities and Dubai which makes traveling from Europe to Dubai easy and affordable.
- Bonus: A tax-free haven for entrepreneurs, diverse cultural experiences, and excellent air connectivity.
Bonus destination: Armenia for bleisure
Armenia continues to grow its reputation as a new tech hub for digital nomads. The country offers an excellent combination of modern amenities, historic sites, fantastic food, and hospitality perks. The capital hosts numerous international companies that have moved businesses to Yerevan, thus contributing to the further development of its digital infrastructure.
Additional factors to consider when choosing a bleisure destination
- Time zone compatibility for minimum disruption.
- Visa requirements with less hustle.
- Flexible and reliable banking sector.
- Connection and transportation accessibility.
- Reach diversity of co-working spaces in Yerevan.
- Personal interests
Things are packed, the laptop is charged, and tours are booked. Bleisure promises to be super productive and exciting, with professional and personal fulfillment.
Business travel has all the chances of becoming a common practice for all employees. We need this freedom to choose a location to work because past years’ events proved working online is possible, and online meetings are as effective as offline. As soon as businesses understand the effectiveness of giving this freedom to all employees, we will have bleisure for everyone. See you on the beach. XOXO.