After classics like ‘cosplay’, ‘frenemy’ and ‘brunch’, the newest portmanteau on top of the millennial lexicon is ‘Bleisure’ – the latest travel trend of adding a few extra leisure days to business trips.

In fact, according to a survey by digital travel platform Booking.com, 72% of Indian business travellers extended their business trips to spend time and enjoy the destination in 2018, second only to Thai travellers (80%) and more than the global average (51%).

“Work hard, party harder is the new mantra for those who want to turn their business travel into an extended vacation demanding the best of both worlds,” Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka and Maldives at Booking.com said.

Hotels in Bengaluru are tailor-making travel itineraries for such bleisure travellers too. “The number of people travelling for work has gone up. Because of this, there is a loss of time with family. This is why, many times, our business guests will travel with their spouses so as to spend quality time,” Rishi Kumar, Director of Operations at Sheraton Grand Bangalore said. For such guests, the hotel curates day trips around the city, walks in Cubbon Park or special dinners.

“Bleisure is definitely the new travel trend and is fast becoming an alternative employee perk. This approach encourages professionals to look forward to their business trips as something more and adds a touch of fun to the stress of business travel,” Balu Ramachandran, Senior Vice President, Cleartrip said.

Marketing professional Param Goyal made his first business trip to Bengaluru from Gurgaon last year. However, for Goyal, sampling the city’s exploding microbrewery culture was unmissable. “I asked my boss for a two-day leave after a series of marathon meetings. I met up with friends from my B-school here for some pub hopping and also made a quick visit to Mysore”

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The good weather here also draws several business travellers to extend trips. Photographer Arjun Maheshwari, who was flown in from Chennai for a high-profile wedding shoot last month, said he decided to spend an entire extra week in the city to get away from the perils of the water crisis that hit Chennai last month.

Over the last few years, there has been a considerable surge in the number of business travellers extending their stay in order to accommodate leisure activities in the city, Manas Krishnamoorthy, general manager at ITC Windsor said. For them, the hotel has been arranging tours of the city, that range from culinary destinations, state buildings, temples and gardens and short trips to Nandi Hills or Bannerghatta National park.

“Although a relatively newer concept, the trend of ‘Bleisure’ travelling has the potential to become a decidedly lucrative market segment for travel advisors. While its viability for a long-term change in the tourism pattern will remain to be seen, it is important to note that the quality of a business trip affects a guest’s overall business and experience with the city as well,” Krishnamoorthy added.





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