Sixty percent of business trips convert to bleisure, and with travelers taking more than six business trips per year, on average, there’s a profound opportunity to reach and entice this valuable audience

‘’Bleisure’’ tourism, the practice of combining business travel and leisure travel into one trip, is the focus of Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) at the World Travel Market Africa (WTM Africa) being held in Cape Town this week

WTM Africa is the appropriate platform to generate leads, launch new products, meet new and old buyers, raise brand awareness and size up the market.

Phindile Makwakwa, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of TKZN, said that representatives from KZN will speak on various issues affecting the industry which is growing at a phenomenal speed. “These platforms will allow for a wider reach to the attendees where we can tap into unchartered waters.”

The Durban-KZN Convention Bureau, which mainly bids for business conferences and meetings for KZN, is attending WTM Africa to tap into the leisure market as it has seen the potential that conference goers and businessmen and women often return to destinations or extend their stays to visit the areas they have come to.

Research has revealed that business delegates who attend conferences and or carry out business often mix some leisure trips into their visits. This “bleisure” industry is booming and there should be more emphasis on this at WTM Africa, Makwakwa explained.

“It is cost effective to blend business travel with leisure activities,” Makwakwa said, adding that “surprisingly, bleisure travel helps travellers maintain a healthier work/life balance.”

Among the findings of a recent survey by the Expedia Group canvassing respondents from China, Germany, India, United Kingdom and the United States, reveal that most bleisure travelers take a business trip at least every 2-3 months, with those trips tending to last between 2-3 nights.

Sixty percent of business trips convert to bleisure, and with travelers taking more than six business trips per year, on average, there’s a profound opportunity to reach and entice this valuable audience.

Most bleisure travelers spend less time on research than they would on a leisure trip, so marketers have a shorter window to strategically target and influence behavior and purchases with call to action messaging.

With nearly 70% of business trips being for conferences, there is an opportunity for destinations to encourage extending for leisure by highlighting activities and experiences to drive repeat visitation;

According to the second annual State of Business Travel Survey, 90% of millennials have engaged in bleisure travel in the past year compared with 81% of Generation Xers and 80% of baby boomers. A major reason for that may be that they have identified a budget-friendly opportunity.

Also exhibiting at the TKZN stand will be two black-owned SMME companies - Trust Me Tours and Discover Durban Travel & Tours. Their participation gives them the unique chance to meet other entrepreneurs, find out about the competition, receive press attention and develop and maintain relationships, Makwakwa added.

Once back in Durban, TKZN staff will be gearing up for their next big event: the Durban hosted Africa Travel Indaba on May 2-4, the biggest trade show on the continent.