The business travel world’s favourite portmanteau word of recent years, 2019 is set to be the year of bleisure, according to industry experts.
But what is it? How on earth does it work? And does it have a place in your travel programme?
Let’s take a look…
The concept of bleisure has snowballed over the last couple of years as more and more organisations, and their travellers, are becoming comfortable with the idea of blending business and leisure time.
With the bleisure trend showing no signs of slowing down, the idea of what constitutes a ‘bleisure trip’ is broadening; no longer does the term just refer to taking a few hours out of a business trip to relax and (gasp!) leave the hotel, but can now involve tagging a couple of days of annual leave onto the end of the trip.
As with any new phenomenon, responses are varied and tentative; for some organisations, and even whole industries, bleisure trips are completely out of the question, whereas for others they offer real opportunities to nurture the employer-employee relationship.
The potential reward is great – both for you and your employees – so if you’re ready to take on the challenge, here are a few questions to ask in order to keep a firm hold on your travel programme while implementing a bleisure option:
– Is there a distinction between business and personal expenses when employees take leisure trips?
– Should the number of days by which a trip can be extended be limited, in order to contain risk?
– Should it be stipulated that employees will only be covered for travel that does not represent a significant departure from their original travel itinerary?
– In higher risk destinations, should employees be prepared to adhere to required aspects of the corporate travel policy?
As always, there is no such thing as a universal solution that fits the culture of all organisations; for some, bleisure simply won’t work, while for others, it remains a lucrative area to explore.
If the idea of bleisure seems like a realistic option for your organisation and employees, talk things through with your TMC; their experience and expertise means they will be able to advise on everything from how to go about opening the doors to a discussion on bleisure, to the specific terms that would need to be worked into your travel policy in order to protect both your organisation and employees.