The new(?) business traveller
The business traveller matters to the aviation industry.
Pre-pandemic, the business traveller made up approximately 12 per-cent of airline passengers but up to 75 per-cent of revenues on flights. When purchasing, they are famously less price sensitive than leisure customers. As an article in Forbes said:
“When a company is buying the ticket, all of a sudden a nonstop flight at the right time and in a premium seat all matter much more than the price.”
Avid users of airline loyalty programmes, bigger budgets, and reliable – the aviation industry thrived on business travellers.
But recent studies are suggesting up to 40 per-cent of airline business travel may not return after the pandemic. It is therefore important for the industry to understand who is taking their place.
The “bleisure” traveller
Blending business and leisure, the bleisure traveller appears to be the covid-catalysed evolution of the business traveller. But who, or what, are they?
At its most basic level, a bleisure traveller is a person whose travel mixes business and leisure. These passengers often extend the duration of their trip to incorporate more time for leisure activities whether this be at the start or end of the trip.
Since the pandemic-fuelled shift away from a 9-5 office-based structure, bleisure travel has rapidly increased. Hybrid or remote work lends itself to this blended type of travel, making it easier for employees go out earlier, or stay on from a business trip. Employees may also decide to stay abroad between two trips, taking their work from home equipment to the destination.
The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) ran a survey investigating the popularity of bleisure post-pandemic. The response found 90 per-cent of employees are more or equally as interested in bleisure travel compared to before the pandemic. As a growing market, and with the traditional business traveller looking unlikely to make a full recovery, it is important for the industry to understand the needs of this “new” traveller.
Article by Jess Brownlow