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A Bleisure Revolution Unfolds.In an unprecedented shift within the global business landscape, Australian professionals are pioneering a remarkable trend that challenges and significantly surpasses international travel norms. A recent study reveals that Australians are indulging in business travel for an average of six nights per journey, starkly outpacing the global benchmark of 3.5 nights. This groundbreaking evolution in travel habits marks a new era of ‘bleisure’ – the seamless blend of business and leisure travel, which has seen a surge in popularity across the Australian continent.

The inception of this transformative trend was meticulously documented by Corporate Traveller, a premier division of the Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), through a detailed examination of flight booking data spanning from October 2023 to March 2024. This analysis unearthed a five percent increase in the duration of combined business and leisure stays, highlighting a significant shift towards more extended travel periods among Australian professionals.

The burgeoning phenomenon of bleisure travel is primarily attributed to the flexible working arrangements that have become increasingly prevalent in the post-pandemic world. Australian business travellers, in particular, have shown a remarkable propensity to intertwine their professional obligations with leisure activities, reflecting a broader cultural embrace of travel and exploration. This inclination is further underscored by data from the Global Business Travel Association, which indicates that over 62% of travellers are now more inclined to merge business with leisure compared to their habits in 2019, with a staggering 79% opting to remain in the same accommodations for the entirety of their work and leisure experiences.

Australia’s position as a pivotal player in the global business travel sector is further solidified by its impressive Business Travel Spending (BTS) forecast for 2023, projected at a robust $23,519 million USD. This figure represents a significant leap from the previous year’s $18,538 million USD, underscoring the nation’s rapid recovery and sustained growth within the international business travel market.

Tom Walley, Global Managing Director for FCTG’s Corporate Traveller, articulates that this trend transcends mere travel preferences, reflecting a more profound societal shift towards embracing flexible work environments that accommodate and even encourage blending business with leisure. Walley notes, “Before the pandemic, combining business with pleasure was considered a luxury. Today, it’s emerged as a strategic approach to enhancing workplace wellness and productivity.”

The rise in bleisure travel is particularly pronounced among education professionals in Australia, with sectors like utilities, construction, and transportation also demonstrating a significant affinity for this trend. In contrast, real estate, retail, and finance industries appear more reticent to adopt bleisure practices. This divergence underscores the varied impact of cost-of-living pressures across different sectors, with many professionals leveraging bleisure travel as a cost-effective means to enrich their travel experiences while optimizing expenses.

Moreover, Corporate Traveller’s insights suggest that the bleisure trend contributes positively to organizational outcomes, enhancing employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention without incurring additional costs. This alignment of individual and corporate interests heralds a promising future for bleisure travel, indicating a sustained demand and the imperative for businesses to adapt to these evolving travel preferences.

To support this shift, Corporate Traveller has established a comprehensive online Business Support Hub, providing a wealth of resources to aid businesses in navigating the complexities of modern travel trends. Additionally, their event series, Unpacked, offers invaluable bleisure travel insights, fostering a community of informed, savvy travellers, poised to navigate the emerging landscape of integrated business and leisure travel.

As Australian business travellers continue to take charge of redefining the boundaries between work and leisure, the global business travel sector stands at the cusp of a transformative era. The Australian model of bleisure travel champions a more holistic approach to professional life and paves the way for a more vibrant, interconnected world of global business interactions.




Written by: Christine Nguyen