Pune: FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of Flight Centre Travel Group, Australia, today released the India findings of their global survey on Bleisure Travel. The report titled as ‘Bleisure
Report, India’ reveals that an increasing number of professionals in India are now extending their business trips for leisure, increasingly blurring the lines between business and leisure travel.
Bleisure travel has recently become an unconventional employee perk in India with 65.5% of respondents saying their employer allowed them to add leisure travel onto business trips. While
Bleisure becomes a mainstream trend in the rest of the world, 27.6% of the Indian respondents say that their companies do not permit them to combine personal travel with their business trips, which is the highest among all countries.
Ratio of business trips in a year
India is expected to have the greatest increases in business travel spends globally. The ‘FCM Bleisure Report, India’ reveals that, on an average in a year,
o 38% of total respondents took 1 to 3 business trips; out of which 29% had extended at least one of their trips for personal travel
o 21% of the surveyed took 4 to 10 business trips; out of which at least half of the them had extended at least 4 of their trips for personal travel
o 14% of the respondents took 11 to 20 business trips and another 14% took more than 21 business trips in the past 12 months
Speaking on the findings, Mr. Rakshit Desai, Managing Director, FCM Travel Solutions, Indian subsidiary of FCTG, Australia said, “Business travel has always been restricted and policy driven.
While leisure travel, particularly outbound, has been niche with very low penetration. However, the survey has unlocked a remarkable trend called Bleisure (business and leisure). It is interesting to note that the lines between corporate and leisure travel are increasingly blurring.”
Surveyed millennials (25-34 years old) had the highest appreciation for bleisure travel with 75% considering it a major work perk. They were also the most likely group to extend a business trip with colleagues (25%), while 50% of the respondents in age group of 50, would use the opportunity to travel with a family member or partner.
44% of respondents also favoured bleisure holidays that enabled experience and exploration. The three most popular activities include sightseeing, dining and art & culture. Whereas 25% of the respondents were more likely to use the time to visit friends and family. Almost 9% of the respondents added personal travel to their business’ with an objective of saving money and a small
percentage (3%) of respondents added personal trip to recover from jet lag before commencing business meetings.
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. Desai further added, “It would have looked very different, had we looked at this picture three or five years ago. There has been a significant change in the behaviour of corporate travel, since then.”
Trend Alert – 35 is the new 25 – The major driver
With the changing and challenging economic scenario and the needs of evolved travellers, the ‘FCM Bleisure Report, India’ reveals that, today, 35 year old professionals lead a more relaxed work-
lifestyle similar to the likes of those who are 25, narrowing the study to a new trend – “35 is the new 25”.
The survey reveals that, 50% of business travellers in the age bracket of 35-49 years want to explore and experience the visiting city; highest among all age brackets.
Mr. Desai commented, “Under the psychographic archetypes, the study clearly reveals that today a 35 year old is more spontaneous – similar to the characteristics of a typical 25 year old. The age
group today falls under the ‘thriver’ category, who is more discerning and has a keen desire to explore and experience. Having been in the workforce for about almost 10 years, the independent
category (the 35’s) are in their prime years of earning, leaving them with higher disposable incomes. At this age, the decision-making power is more than ever, giving them the leeway to combine work and leisure.”
The survey also reveals that 20% of business travellers in age group of 35-49 years prefer traveling with family member or a partner and add a day or two on either end of weekend to explore
experience and enjoy the destination.
Bleisure – a perk of the job
The evolution of the bleisure travel concept from an occasional getaway opportunity to a work-perk has created a win-win solution for employees and employers. 75% of total respondents agreed that the ability to combine personal travel with business trip is a perk of their job.
Mr. Desai adds, “Employers are also responding positively to the changing employee behaviour and aspirations by modifying their policies. An astounding 2/3 rd of companies in the survey said they had absolutely no problem if employees travelling on work want to combine leisure with it, taking a day off before or after the start of the trip. Companies that are able to strategically incorporate the element of Bleisure into their current travel policies can benefit by encouraging employees to use business trips as an opportunity for vacation time, leaving employees happier, better engaged, feel valued and more loyal. Also, a reduction in annual leave liability”.
The findings further state that,
o 50% of respondents in age bracket of 18-24 years spend time with friends and family who live at the destination; highest among all age brackets
o 31% of total respondents prefer taking a family member/ partner on the trip
o 22% of respondents who combine business and personal trip have travelled on their own. 50% of female respondents have travelled on their own as compared to 16% male respondents.
o A minimum of 9% of respondents extend their trip with colleagues
o 40% of respondents who take a family or member along stay in same accommodation where they stayed for work trip
o 43% of respondents who travel on their own stay at a family’s or friend’s home The methodology used by FCM Travel Solutions includes analysing business travel bookings and expense reporting data from the survey undertaken by 800 corporates & small businesses in India.
Attached Annexure – BLEISURE SURVEY ANALYSIS, INDIA
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