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Economic Development
Apr 16, 2018

Traveling for Business, Leisure or Bleisure?

Sponsored Content provided by Julie Wilsey - Director, Wilmington International Airport

It used to be when you heard a friend was going on a trip, you’d ask if it was for business or leisure? 

These days, the answer it not simply a business trip or a pleasure trip. A third option has emerged as there has been a growing trend of those extending work travel to incorporate leisure, often referred to as “bleisure.”


Bleisure?

That’s right, you read that correctly. Bleisure. In June 2017, the Global Business Travel Association put out a report Extending Business Travel into Leisure Time-Bleisure Study that highlighted key finding such as, “In the past year, one-third (37 percent) of North American business travelers extended a work trip for leisure.” 

This statistic reminds us that business travelers, heading to or leaving from Wilmington, may choose to add time to their trip and take-in the sights. According to the report, for many that go the bleisure route, extending a business trip allow them to “spend time at a destination where they like to spend time”, or “explore a new destination that they wanted to see.” 

According to the report, Millenials (48 percent) take bleisure trips at a higher rate than Gen-X travelers (33 percent) and Baby Boomers (23 percent). 


On Your Next Business Trip, Take In The Sights, Too

With this information in mind, realize you’re not the only one that likes to add time to take-in the area you’re visiting. Besides, who wants to travel to an amazing destination and only see your hotel room or conference center? 

On your next business trip, get to know the city or town you’re visiting.  For example, if you’re visiting Chicago, grab a seat in one of their 200+ theaters and see one of the 10 Hot Shows to See in Chicago, enjoy miles of shopping, be amazed by their museum treasures, and partake in a community event or festival.  After all, with new convenient nonstop flights on United, you’ll spend less time getting to your destination and more time enjoying the city itself!


Showcasing Our Community To Business Guests & New Recruits

Whether you’re hosting an out-of-town business colleague or a potential new recruit, encourage them to take time to enjoy Wilmington and our Island Beaches. They’ll likely want to discover for themselves, why Wilmington, North Carolina and its island beaches is a destination on the rise, according to TripAdvisor’s 2018 Travelers’ Choice list of “Top Destinations on the Rise.”   


Fueling Local Tourism

When connecting with our partners at the Wilmington and Beaches CVB, they shared how United’s new nonstop service, from places like Chicago, opens up new opportunities. They believe it has the potential to make Wilmington a stronger destination for meetings and conventions, particularly from destinations in United’s vast network. 

That potential is important, as travel and tourism is an important economic generator that infuses millions of dollars into our local economy, thereby making New Hanover County a better place to live, work and visit. 
So next time you’re booking a trip or hosting a guest, remember the gray area…otherwise known as bleisure and tag on a day- or three- to the trip. 

About ILM

Wilmington International Airport (ILM) is based in Wilmington, NC and serves over 830,000 travelers annually. ILM proudly offers convenient nonstop flights to top destinations and worldwide connections. The airport welcomed United airlines in April 2018 with new nonstop air service between Wilmington, NC and popular US cities, including Chicago O’Hare (ORD). Search flights on United.

Julie Wilsey has been the Airport Director of Wilmington International Airport (ILM) since December 2013. After six years as an Army Engineer officer, Julie joined the ILM team as the Director of Facilities.Since 1999, she has helped ILM grow with airfield and facility improvements, completing over $100 million worth of capital projects. A career milestone includes earning her accreditation as an airport executive with the American Association of Airport Executives in 2008. Julie holds an MBA from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor’s Degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point. An active member of the community and aviation industry, Julie serves on the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission, the NC Aviation Task Force, Cape Fear Area United Way Board of Directors the Downtown Wilmington Rotary Club, WILMA, the North Carolina Airport Association and the Southeast AAAE. Julie is married to LTC (Ret) Donald Wilsey, USA, has a stepdaughter, Lauren, and two cats.  


 

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