Business Travel Resurges with a New Focus on ‘Bleisure’

The pandemic brought business travel to a halt, shifting meetings to virtual platforms like Teams. However, today’s business travel has not only rebounded but surpassed pre-pandemic levels, transforming the industry in unexpected ways.

The pandemic brought business travel to a halt, shifting meetings to virtual platforms like Teams. However, today’s business travel has not only rebounded but surpassed pre-pandemic levels, transforming the industry in unexpected ways.

The MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) sector is seeing a significant revival, presenting new opportunities as corporate travel evolves.

Hyatt’s European portfolio reported a 20% increase in MICE enquiries from 2022 to 2023, with Spain experiencing a nearly 50% rise. The UK and German markets saw interest in MICE increase by 25% and 31%, respectively. Clearly, the business trip is back in full swing.

Paul Dalgleish, Vice President of Sales, Revenue, and Business Development in EMEA at Hyatt, acknowledges the shift in corporate travel needs. “Fast Wi-Fi and sleek meeting rooms are no longer sufficient,” says Dalgleish. “Over 80% of corporate travellers now participate in ‘bleisure’, blending business trips with leisure activities and experiences.”

The Grand Hyatt Barcelona exemplifies this trend, offering unique MICE facilities alongside stunning views of Barcelona’s iconic sights. Data indicates that a third of business travellers want to involve their families, prompting companies to extend trips and choose hotels with comprehensive amenities.

Dalgleish emphasizes Hyatt’s commitment to this new demand. “Our hotels and brands in EMEA provide unique MICE offerings catering to a wide range of events, from team building and staff incentive trips to traditional corporate travel.”

Hyatt boasts over 200 hotels and 45,000 rooms across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, with 70 new openings planned in the coming years. Dalgleish is confident in the continued success of Hyatt’s MICE offerings. “Our philosophy, Together by Hyatt, addresses evolving preferences by offering bespoke event experience guides, sustainability fact sheets, and advanced technology tools to streamline event planning.”

With the rise of remote working and the digital nomad trend, the line between business and leisure continues to blur. In today’s world, where travel is no longer taken for granted, combining work with leisure activities has become the norm.

Hyatt’s Unique Venues platform highlights singular MICE spaces in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. For instance, Andaz London Liverpool Street offers not only a convenient gateway into the City but also a historic 111-year-old Masonic Temple. Similarly, Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower provides easy access to the city’s financial districts and features a glass dome with 360-degree city views.

As business travel gains momentum across Europe, corporate travellers are seeking more diverse and enriching experiences, making trips more exciting. “Who needs a Teams background when you can have the real thing?” Dalgleish concludes, underscoring the newfound vibrancy in corporate travel.


Richard Alvin

Richard Alvin is a serial entrepreneur, a former advisor to the UK Government about small business and an Honorary Teaching Fellow on Business at Lancaster University. A winner of the London Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the year and Freeman of the City of London for his services to business and charity. Richard is also Group MD of Capital Business Media and SME business research company Trends Research, regarded as one of the UK's leading experts in the SME sector and an active angel investor and advisor to new start companies. Richard is also the host of Save Our Business the U.S. based business advice television show.

https://www.richardalvin.co.uk

Richard Alvin is a serial entrepreneur, a former advisor to the UK Government about small business and an Honorary Teaching Fellow on Business at Lancaster University. A winner of the London Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the year and Freeman of the City of London for his services to business and charity. Richard is also Group MD of Capital Business Media and SME business research company Trends Research, regarded as one of the UK's leading experts in the SME sector and an active angel investor and advisor to new start companies. Richard is also the host of Save Our Business the U.S. based business advice television show.