Business owners sending their employees overseas for a work trip had better stop expecting their staff to return to the office immediately after completing their paid duties.
A new Flight Centre global survey found that when it comes to bleisure travel, Aussies and Kiwis are the biggest consumers in the world, and will add leisure days onto their business escapes anytime they can.
Some 88 percent respondents from Australia and New Zealand said their employer allowed them to take bleisure travel compared to 71 percent of global respondents who also answered in the affirmative.
Flight Centre’s Executive General Manager – Corporate Travel Andrew Flannery said the bleisure travel concept had grown so quickly in popularity that it had become its own niche travel market.
“Bleisure travel isn’t just about taking an extra day or two on the back of work trip anymore. It’s morphed into a holiday option that’s utilised in a number of different ways by employees.”
Andrew Flannery, Flight Centre Executive General Manager
“In particular, those who have a relationship with a corporate travel manager are using the extra level of booking expertise to parlay work trips into larger holidays.”
Mr Flannery said the ability to take bleisure travel was becoming a more important factor for job selection, especially among millennial travellers.
Surveyed millennials had the highest appreciation for bleisure travel with 89 percent considering it a major work perk. They were also the most likely group to extend a business trip with colleagues or use the opportunity to travel with a partner or companion.
Millennials also favoured bleisure holidays that enabled sightseeing and exploration whereas older age brackets were more likely to use the time to visit friends and family.
Results also showed the most frequent bleisure travellers were those who flew more than 11 times annually on business, a category dominated by C-suite respondents.
Mr Flannery said the evolution of the bleisure travel concept from an occasional getaway opportunity to major work perk had created a win-win solution for employees and employers.
“If your employer is willing to pay your airfare for work purposes, or even cover a significant part of your journey, you’ve immediately got a cut price holiday and more spending money,
“On the flip side, employers can benefit from a reduction in annual leave liability by encouraging employees to use business trips as a launch pad for vacation time.”