The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced many new elements to our lives. One of those new elements is the emergence of words that we rarely if ever used in the past. Words like cocooning, self-isolation, covidiots, quaranteams, frontline workers and lockdown.
There are maskers and anti-maskers, N-numbers and asymptomatics, contact-tracing and flattening the curve, and thankfully the most welcome words of all, roll-outs, jabs and vaccinations.
Among the lexicon of words and phrases which now drip easily from our collective tongues is the word ‘bleisure’, which has come to prominence in the colliding worlds of business and pleasure. Although the word has been around for some time, it is only in the past year that the notion of bleisure travel has captured the imagination.
Bleisure travel is nothing new, in the past, it was known as a ‘bizcation’, or even a jolly (a particular UK expression describing having fun while on a business trip). As if to further illustrate the close association between business and leisure some of the most popular U.S. convention centers are located in places like Las Vegas, Orlando, San Diego, New York and Nashville, all of which hold close association with the worlds of leisure and entertainment.
Travel, business, and leisure have long been bed-fellows. Now, due to a global pandemic, companies have come to realize that to provide an incentive for getting their top executives back in the air again, bleisure may be the answer.
Private jet charter and the emergence of bleisure travel
Unfortunately, as a direct consequence of the COVID-19 situation worldwide, scheduled air travel has taken a massive hit. According to a report by Statista, in January 2021, the number of scheduled flights worldwide was down by 43.5% compared to the same time in 2020.
Thankfully, the executive business jet traveler has the versatile and more widely available option of a private jet charter to fulfill their travel needs and keep them in personal contact with important partners, clients and suppliers.
Another upside to private jet charter for international and domestic travel is the opportunity for safer, more convenient and point-to-point business or leisure travel.
As part of the norm in business, pre-COVID-19, the average company spends on business travel grew approximately 7% year-on-year since 2015. While that figure may have stalled somewhat during 2020 and into the early days of 2021, the upsurge in the private jet charter has grown dramatically.
Bleisure travel has impacted modern business strategies so much so that on-the-ground tourism organizations and private businesses are fast becoming aware of its potential as a whole new angle or an add-on to their existing strategies.
Napa Valley, uncorking business and travel successfully
Many business travelers return to the same geographic area repeatedly, due to the presence of clients, partners, and suppliers, or because the area is regarded as an industry hub. In the US, one such hub is California, one of the global hotspots for the computer and software industries. Recognizing the importance of bleisure as an intrinsic part of Californian tourism, many companies and organizations have reacted positively to the possibilities.
Northern California’s Napa Valley is widely regarded as being one of the world’s leading wine-producing regions, most especially noted for its prize-winning and highly palatable Cabernet Sauvignon wines. Coupled with its stunning good looks and its pleasant year-round climate, the Napa region welcomes visitors who flock to its vineyards for a well-deserved business leisure wine-tasting break.
While the doors of most major tourist attractions have been bolted shut since early 2020, Napa Valley tourism has announced that from March 2nd many of the area’s vineyards will have reopened their doors for tastings and other activities. By combining business and leisure travel, visitors to California have been afforded the unique opportunity to once again experience the exquisite pleasures of fine dining in classic restaurants, outdoor wine tasting sessions, invigorating gym and fitness regime workouts, and visits to spectacular museums and galleries.
The future of business leisure travel
It seems that not every destination will be able to open its doors as quickly as California’s Napa Valley, for a variety of reasons, such as rising virus numbers, the density of population, and colder climates where experiences are mostly enjoyed indoors. But, in the nearest future, it is highly likely that outdoor activities and remote location pursuits will be first on the list of bleisure experiences to gain popularity with business travelers.
Leisure activities that avoid the overcrowding that comes with large theme parks, city center entertainment venues, nightclubs, and the need to use crowded public transport facilities will write the headlines of future business and travel plans. Outdoor pursuits like horse riding, camping, backcountry hiking, sailing, and hot-air ballooning will become the experiences that replace the crowded beachside hotels of the past.
When work time and leisure time are equally important, a private jet charter for individuals or groups makes sound financial sense for the long-term wellbeing of key individuals and the overall health of your business.