Adding on leisure time to business trips is becoming a growing trend, new research published today (Wednesday) reveals.

So-called ‘bleisure’ trips increased by 46% last year in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

The top five destinations were Tel Aviv, London, Paris, Dubai and Frankfurt.

Business travellers who add a Saturday night stay in their destination rose globally by 20% in 2017 over the previous year.

Almost one in five (16%) business travellers from small or medium-sized firms included an overnight stay on Saturday.

More than a quarter of travellers in the EMEA region included a Saturday night stay in their most recent trip, compared with 44% in Asia Pacific and 19% in the US.

The top three sectors across EMEA where bleisure is more prevalent are manufacturing, technology and pharma with a steady year-on-year increase.

Millennials make up the largest share, globally accounting for 38% of bleisure trips, with Generation X and Baby Boomers at 31% each not far behind.

Emma Maslen, managing director of UK Enterprise at travel and expense specailist SAP Concur, said: “Bleisure is a rising trend across the globe. Increasingly as employees seek to achieve a better work life balance, they don’t want to only see the airport of a city.

“Instead they want to embed themselves more in the culture and experiences that their destination has to offer.

“This trend coincides with upward growth trajectory of the platform economy, the most notable brands including Airbnb, enabling travellers to find cost-effective, flexible accommodation that empowers them to maximise the best of both worlds.

“Indeed, 70% of Airbnb bookings we’ve seen from our data included a Saturday night – now compare that with just 10% for hotel bookings.

“Companies need to have the correct policies in place to help effectively manage the rise of bleisure,” she added.