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CWT research: 20% of business travelers take Bleisure trips every year

July 12, 2016

Adding some leisure time to a business trip might seem like a new phenomenon. But Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s Solutions Group’s analysis of 29 million business trips, the results of which are released today, shows the amount of bleisure has remained the same for the past five years.

The quantitative results showed that one in five business travelers take bleisure trips each year, accounting for seven percent of all business trips. In nearly half of bleisure trips, the personal days occur at the end of the trip, in 34 percent at the beginning, while for the remaining 20 percent leisure occurs at both ends of the trip.

Catalin Ciobanu of CWT Solutions Group said, “More and more people are talking about the concept of people adding leisure days to business trips – or bleisure – so it was surprising to see there has been no real increase in bleisure recently. What’s happening is that bleisure travelers tend to take one or two bleisure trips each year, regardless of demographic segment or travel frequency”.

Other key findings are that female business travelers are more likely to take bleisure trips than their male counterparts. Also, the youngest travelers are much more likely to add leisure time to their work travel. Both of these trends are explained by the lower total volume of business travel in the female and younger traveler segments.

Distance also has a major impact: the longer the flight, the higher the likelihood for bleisure. The attractiveness of a destination for bleisure travelers depends on the city of origin. For example, the San Francisco to London route has a bleisure rate of 23 percent, compared to Paris to London, with a rate of only two percent.

Ciobanu continued, “These results are interesting in themselves because they help us to understand the bleisure mechanism. More importantly, the travel industry needs to learn from them. For corporate travel managers, the key learning is the need to take bleisure options into account for their travel policy, especially for programs with a high volume of long-haul trips. There are also learnings for suppliers: knowing who is more likely to take bleisure trips will allow them to better anticipate and cater to the needs of business travelers.”

CWT Solutions Group analyzed a data set of business trips booked by CWT worldwide between 2011 and 2015. The definition of bleisure requires a Saturday night stay at the destination either at the beginning or at the end of a trip, or both.

About Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Companies and governments rely on us to keep their people connected. We provide their travelers with a consumer-grade travel experience, combining innovative technology with our vast experience. Every day we look after enough travelers to fill almost 200 Boeing 747s and around 100,000 hotel rooms, and handle 95 corporate events. We have more than 18,000 people in nearly 150 countries, and in 2016 posted a total transaction volume of US$ 23 billion.

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