Shift in Germany’s Business Travel Demand, Bleisure Tops in Europe

Lufthansa German Airlines (Airbus A380)

The demand for business travel to Germany is undergoing a change, with travel for MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conventions, and Exhibitions) showing an earlier recovery compared to traditional business travels.

Out of the 117 million business trips taken in 2023, 13.5 million were to Germany. In terms of bleisure (a combination of business and leisure), it ranks first in Europe and third globally. About three-quarters of these were for MICE activities, with 41% of trade fair and exhibition visitors combining their business trips with vacations or personal stays.

Matthias Schultze, President of the German Convention Bureau (GCB), commented, “A further business opportunity arises from the active marketing of MICE offers that include elements of private travel.” Travel expenses are higher for bleisure, at 1,767 euros, compared to 1,432 euros for business trips. This is attributed to the selection of higher-quality accommodations, with 47% opting for premium hotels and 14% for mid-range hotels, while only 2% choose budget hotels.

As part of its ‘Stay Longer’ initiative, the German National Tourist Board is strategically promoting an extension of stay for international visitors to reduce the per diem carbon dioxide emissions from travel. The average stay for business travelers is 6.7 nights, whereas for bleisure travelers, it is 8.8 nights. More than two-thirds of leisure travelers stay for at least four nights.

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