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The travel sector you hadn’t heard of 10 years ago is going to surpass $1T in value

When did you first come across the term “bleisure”? Chances are, it was less than 10 years ago. In some circles, you might even hear it referred to as a NEW trend. (As I write this, spell-check is trying hard to correct the word to “leisure”.) Prepare to hear it more often.

When did you first come across the term “bleisure”? Chances are, it was less than 10 years ago. In some circles, you might even hear it referred to as a NEW trend. (As I write this, spell-check is trying hard to correct the word to “leisure”.) Prepare to hear it more often.

Call it what you will, but bleisure – a combination of business and leisure travel – is now big business. And it’s only getting bigger.

A new report has predicted that this sector of travel will reach a total value of more than US$730 billion (AU$1.1 trillion) within the next decade. 

Worth an estimated US$315.3 billion (around AU$480 billion) in 2022, the sector is forecast to grow at an almost double digit rate (CAGR of 8.9 per cent) between now and 2032. 

The report, released by Allied Market Research, claims that several factors are influencing the rise of the global bleisure travel market, including higher demand for a better work/life balance, digital change within the travel industry, and growth in affordable accommodation. 

karryon-millennials
Millennials are the biggest bleisure travellers. (Image Julián Gentilezza/Unsplash)

Who’s driving growth?

When it comes to users, the middle management segment is the most active within the bleisure travel space, accounting for more than two in five global bleisure travellers in 2022. 

This segment is also expected to continue to rule the space until 2032, with the fastest growth rate (9.2 per cent) in the sector. 

By age group, millennials were the biggest bleisure travellers in 2022, accounting for nearly half of all global bleisure travel market revenue. This demographic is expected to continue its dominance over the next decade. 

According to Allied Market Research, Gen-Yers “travel for both adventure and financial gain” and are “devoted workers, compulsive shoppers, and experienced partygoers who live life to the fullest”. This results in a bleisure-hungry market.

Males are also driving the sector, the research revealed.

Per industry, the corporate segment accounted for around three quarters of bleisure travel market revenue, making it the largest user of bleisure travel in 2022.

APAC bleisure growing

By region, Europe accounted for nearly one-third of total bleisure travel revenue and is predicted to maintain its place at the top of the market during the forecast period. 

The report puts Europeans’ strong uptake of bleisure travel down to increases in working-age populations, disposable income, and travel enthusiasts on the continent.

However, Asia-Pacific bleisure travellers are predicted to be the fastest growing market from 2023 to 2032 (with a growth rate of 9.4 per cent). 

While a lack of proper policies in the sector could impede the growth of the market, improving infrastructure and corporate collaborations are expected to create “lucrative opportunities” within the industry, the findings show. 

Titled “Bleisure Travel Market by Employee, by Age Group, by Industries: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2022 to 2032”, the report found that the leisure market had returned to normal levels following a major letdown during the COVID-pandemic.

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