What is Bleisure Travel and why is it important??

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Perhaps you've read about the rise of bleisure travel in the news, or you're looking for strategies to increase the amount of bleisure travel at your hotel. It's no secret that bleisure travel is a growing segment in hotels around the world. But what about the future of business travel that extends to vacation stays? What do Bleisure travelers really want? And how your hotel can best attract them? In this article, we will explore Bleisure travel trends and why this segment is so attractive to hotels.

Amidst the carnage, the coronavirus had some positive effects on the world, such as. B. Encouraging all of us to strive for a better work-life balance and an overall improvement in our general well-being. This desire for balance has led to more domestic travel, staycations and extending business trips to have a few days off instead of dashing straight home.

We will also share best practices for capturing Bleisure demand so your hotel can tap into this exciting market sector. Are you ready to learn all about Bleisure travel?

What is Bleisure Travel?

Let's start with the word "Bleisure", which is a combination of "Business" and "Leisure". The term was coined back in 2009, but its popularity skyrocketed around 2016. Bleisure travelers are travelers who combine business obligations with personal activities on the same trip. Bleisure travelers fall into two main categories: Corporate, group or conference guests who add a few days of vacation to their business trips, and business travelers who bring companions such as friends or family members with them. Bleisure travelers can often take advantage of flights or hotel rooms paid for by their company and enjoy some rest and relaxation or sightseeing in the area before or after their work commitments. According to a study conducted by SAP Concur, travelers of all ages take bleisure trips, although Millennials are more likely than Gen Xers or Baby Boomers to combine business travel with leisure travel.

Statistics and Trends in Bleisure Travel

How big is the bleisure travel market? Growing it? Who are Bleisure travelers, anyway? To better understand this unique segment, let's take a look at some statistics.

  • According to a 2017 GBTA study, about 40% of business travelers are bleisure travelers, having extended their business trips for leisure purposes
  • The GBTA study also found that Millennials are most likely to extend a business trip for leisure purposes, with 48% of Millennials surveyed having done so in the past year. During the same period, 33% of Generation X and 23% of baby boomers extended their business trips.
  • SAP Concur's 2017 Bleisure travel study found that some of the most popular destinations for Bleisure travel are New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.
  • The same study showed that September and October are the most popular months for Bleisure travel. It seems that business travelers want to do some leaf peeping after their meetings!
  • Bleisure travelers tend to fill middle management positions (42%), followed by executives (31%) and entry-level workers (27%), according to GBTA.
  • Most bleisure travelers stay at the same hotel for the entire duration of their trip (82%), rather than changing accommodations for business and leisure travel.
  • According to an Expedia study on Bleisure travel trends, American Bleisure travelers took an average of 6.4 business trips per year, and 88% of those trips were within the U.S. (12% were international trips).
  • The Expedia study also found that the top reasons for business travelers to extend their trip were the entertainment or activities available at the destination, the destination being a "bucket list" place and the ease of getting around locally.
  • Bleisure travel doesn't seem to be a passing fad; A survey by American Hotel& Lodging Association's 2022 survey of global travelers found that 89% of respondents wanted to add some leisure to their next business trip.

Why is Bleisure Travel So Popular?

Bleisure travel is a buzzword for good reason; this type of travel offers many benefits to both travelers and hotels. As companies move to a hybrid work environment in the wake of the pandemic, bleisure travel could lose its buzzword status and become mainstream as more professionals travel for conferences, company outings and face-to-face meetings.

For travelers, Bleisure Travel can allow them to visit a destination at a lower cost and with fewer vacation days than if they were to take a vacation-only trip. In many cases, employers pay for round-trip airfare and hotel stays during the business portion of the trip, leaving only the additional leisure hotel nights and other leisure expenses on the traveler's bill. If the business trip is far from home and the traveler is going there anyway, it is quite efficient to extend the trip instead of planning another leisure trip to do the sightseeing or other leisure activities on the traveler's wish list.

Hotels can also benefit greatly from bleisure travelers. If a Bleisure traveler is already planning to stay at your hotel because it's the conference hotel or the company has a corporate preferred rate, then the acquisition cost for that guest is generally lower than for a standard leisure traveler booking through an OTA. The average Bleisure traveler's length of stay is longer than the average leisure or business traveler; according to the Expedia study, U.S. Bleisure travelers spend 3.7 nights on the business portion and 2.6 nights on the leisure portion of their trip, which equates to an average stay of more than 6 nights!

What are Bleisure Travelers Looking for in a Hotel?

Who wouldn't like a 6-night LOS? If your hotel wants to capitalize on the demand for Bleisure travel, you first need to make sure your hotel offers the amenities and services that Bleisure travelers are looking for, such as.

  • A suitable workspace: even if they're visiting partly for pleasure, Bleisure travelers put their work engagement first, and they need to have the amenities they need to work efficiently and comfortably. For example, make sure your Wi-Fi is strong enough to handle Zoom calls and multiple Chrome tabs – and for free. Bleisure travelers will also appreciate having a desk with an ergonomic chair in their guest room, as well as plenty of easily accessible electrical outlets.
  • Childcare and child-friendly amenities: Many Bleisure travelers bring their families, including partners and children. These travelers are looking for guest rooms with enough space for the whole family, such as a separate bedroom with a door that closes for better sleeping and working environments. Family members also want amenities and activities they can enjoy while the business traveler is working, such as. B. An on-site pool, playground, beach or babysitting service.
  • Concierge services and local recommendations: Bleisure travelers are busy and generally spend less time planning their bleisure trips than planning a traditional vacation. You'll be thrilled to find a hotel that offers good local recommendations or can help with getting tickets to attractions, shows or transportation.

How Can Hotels Capture More Business from Bleisure Travelers?

By now, you're probably asking yourself, "How can my hotel attract more Bleisure travelers??"The first step is to offer the amenities that Bleisure travelers want. If your wifi is in dire need of an upgrade, get your wifi speed in order before launching marketing efforts to Bleisure travelers.

Once you're successful on the amenity front, you can make it known that you're open for bleisure business. Start by letting meeting planners know that you want Bleisure travelers. They can be great salespeople; meeting planners can promote extended stays to their conference attendees or clients. You should also offer competitive rates for corporate or group guests who want to extend their stay. You certainly don't want to scare off a potential Bleisure traveler with a transient leisure rate that is significantly higher than the corporate rate their company pays for the exact same room. With this in mind, make sure your booking engine can handle Bleisure bookings seamlessly. This may mean the ability to mix and match rate plans or extend stay dates after a booking has been made.

Finally, talk to potential and confirmed Bleisure travelers through every step of the booking journey. From the moment a potential guest lands on your website, they should be able to read content about your Bleisure-focused services and amenities. Make sure these guests know you can help them plan their leisure activities and make sure their partners and children are entertained and comfortable. You may want to offer packages that include tickets to top attractions or room upgrades.

Although bleisure travel may seem like a trend, all indications are that bleisure's mix of business and leisure will be a substantial and distinct segment of travelers for many years to come. With the recovery from business travel and the ongoing strain of digital nomads/distance working, now is a good time to make sure your hotel is ready to capture extra nights and ancillary revenue from business travelers who want to stay a few extra nights to get away from work and enjoy all that your region has to offer.

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