March 06, 2019

The Results Are In: 75% of Business Travelers Want to Extend Their Stay for Leisure

According to Great Hotels of the World's Bleisure Travel Survey
Business travelers are hitting the road to work, but increasingly staying there for leisure, according to a new survey by Great Hotels of the World (GHOTW). Bleisure, the trend of extending a business trip into a leisure one, is a rapidly growing trend, especially among frequent travelers who take five or more trips a year, according to the poll. One key takeaway: 75% of respondents extended business trips for leisure purposes in the past year, in most cases multiple times.

Behind this trend of turning what was once a purely professional trip into a pleasurable one is a more mobile workforce of Millenials, GenXers and Baby Boomers who are often at least partially home-based, and have more flexibility in their working lives than they did just a decade ago. On their business travels they want to take advantage of their stay to enjoy a mini vacation and discover the destination they're staying in, says GHOTW research.

"Business travelers are drawn to extend their stay when they can find properties that offer both excellent business amenities in addition to perks not found in smaller, boutique hotels - this is the best of both worlds," states GHOTW CEO Pedro Colaco.

Great Hotels of the World, one of the world's leading hospitality representation companies for upscale and independent hotels around the globe, is uniquely positioned to host the bleisure market at its thoughtfully curated collection of more than 60 upscale luxury hotels. GHOTW commissioned this bleisure survey to discover more about leisure-seeking business travelers.

Here are some highlights from GHOTW's first Bleisure Survey:

Overall Travel Trends

  • Despite technology, there is nothing quite like human interaction: Business travel as a whole just keeps on growing. Over half of the travelers polled travel five or more times a year (making them frequent travelers).

  • Business travel is pushing the borders of countries and continents: Nearly 70% of all travelers took trips to destinations with flights of 4 hours duration or more. However, only 30% of business travelers polled take this type of trip frequently (three or more times a year).

  • Upscale and luxury hotels are favored by frequent travelers; 50% of frequent business travelers (five or more trips per year) choose upscale hotels, while less than 20% of infrequent business travelers (three to four times a year) choose them, and only 10% that travel occasionally (one to two times a year) stay at upscale hotels.


  • Bleisure is undoubtedly impacting business travelers' options and lives: 75% of respondents extended business trips for leisure purposes, in most cases multiple times a year.

  • 44% of travelers feel that bleisure has been on the rise and will increase further in the future.

  • The overwhelming majority of bleisure travelers (59%) booked the leisure part of the trip directly with the accommodation provider. However, 22% of "frequent travelers" booked the leisure part of the trip through the corporate travel agent.

  • While a majority of travelers (56%) have family or friends joining them, 43% are solo travelers on bleisure trips.

  • When business travelers are joined by family or friends for the leisure part of the trip, a vast majority - 72% - are joined by only one person, i.e. one double room. However, 29% of respondents indicated that the leisure part of their trip involves 3 or more people, showing even greater potential for more business.

  • 72% of our survey respondents stayed in the same accommodation for the leisure part of their trip. For those who did change their accommodation, budget was clearly an issue, with 42% opting for a cheaper hotel and 38% choosing a short-rental, such as Air BnB-type apartment or house.

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