As the travel industry adapts to a post-pandemic world, a significant trend emerges: “Bleisure” travel. This innovative concept, combining business and leisure travel, is gaining traction among South Africans and remote workers worldwide.
According to a recent study, a remarkable 89 percent of global business travelers expressed a desire to add a private holiday to their work trips, highlighting the appeal of this trend. Bleisure travel offers an economical way to maximize travel experiences by extending business trips to include leisure activities, thus allowing individuals to save on travel costs while enjoying the best of both worlds.
In parallel, the rise of “digital nomads” has contributed to the growth of this trend. These individuals enjoy the flexibility to work from anywhere, making them a significant and fast-growing segment of the travel market.
About 32% of individuals are planning business trips, with a remarkable 62% being remote workers, according to Expedia Group’s Traveller Value Index 2023. Moreover, 85% of business travelers express excitement about traveling for work, with millennials (45%) and Gen Zs (40%) leading the way in work-related travel.
This indicates that remote work is no longer exclusive to digital nomads. The pandemic’s impact has prompted many companies worldwide to embrace remote work, a trend expected to persist.
Sean Maher, Market Vice President: South Africa, Marriott International, stated, “The popularity of working while vacationing is great news because many of our properties offer the perfect setting to flip open the laptop right on the beach or on a secluded mountain, and in many other areas of interest within South Africa. Protea Hotel by Marriott Sea Point offers guests magical sea views, perfect for that barefoot ‘Workationer’. For the ultimate workcation setting, The Protea Hotel by Marriott Clarens nestled in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, near the Golden Gate National Park and the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho is the perfect for eco-lovers who simply enjoy exploring this tranquil, magical landscape.”
For those with a penchant for culture and history, a visit to the Apartheid Museum or the Cradle of Humankind is a must. Nature enthusiasts can explore the Kruger National Park or Table Mountain to immerse themselves in South Africa’s natural beauty. Bleisure travel enables individuals to make the most of every travel opportunity.
Sean Maher concluded, “With the rise of bleisure travel, the hospitality industry is witnessing a paradigm shift towards a holistic travel experience. Providing tailor-made experiences for corporate travelers and embracing this growing trend will help the industry secure greater customer loyalty and encourage higher spending.”