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From Leisure To Bleisure

Sean Maher, market vice president: South Africa, Marriott International, shares that the popularity of working while vacationing is great news.

The concept isn’t new at all, but bleisure travel, post-COVID-19, has certainly gained traction among South Africans and remote workers worldwide. 

A recent study, The Year of the “New” Traveler by the American Hotel & Lodging Association 2022 in collaboration with Accenture, reports that a remarkable 89 per cent of global business travellers 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 maximise travel experiences by extending business trips to include leisure activities, 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 per cent of individuals are planning business trips, with a remarkable 62 per cent being remote workers, according to Expedia Group’s Traveller Value Index 2023. Moreover, 85 per cent of business travellers express excitement about travelling for work, with millennials (45 per cent) and Gen Zs (40 per cent) leading the way in travel. This indicates that remote work is no longer exclusive to digital nomads.  

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 travellers and embracing this growing trend will help the industry secure greater customer loyalty and encourage higher spending. 

Some great bleisure stays

Protea Hotel by Marriott Sea Point offers guests magical sea views, perfect for that barefoot “Workcationer”. 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 perfect for eco-lovers who simply enjoy exploring this tranquil, magical landscape.

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