Bleisure travel has quickly become a buzzword signifying travelers that combine a business trip with leisure. Studies show, however, that bleisure goes much deeper than just a casual trend. Here’s a look at a few ways travel providers can benefit from this lucrative trend.
Bleisure travel explained
Many people who need to travel on business are becoming bleisure travelers, a term used to define professionals who mix vacation — or leisure — time with business, according to CNN.
In fact, according to a BridgeStreet Global Hospitality report, 60 percent of travelers reported having taken bleisure trips, with 30 percent adding at least two additional days to their trip. Those that have done so say it helps them to work more effectively, takes some of the stress out of business travel and keeps them more relaxed while away from home. There’s also the added benefit of quality time with a significant other, increasing the amount of time road warriors can spend with family.
Stats on bleisure travel
According to the BridgeStreet survey, bleisure travelers are almost evenly split male and female, with most falling into the 45- to 54-year-old age group. More importantly, the second largest group was 25- to 35-year-olds, representing millennials accustomed to a blurred, digital lifestyle. This always-on connected generation is more apt to deploy a business-mixed-with-pleasure mindset. For example, according to trend forecaster Miriam Rayman, millennial bleisure travelers are more likely to turn an evening out into a networking opportunity.
And bleisure travel continues to grow: 60 percent of BridgeStreet respondents were more likely to take a bleisure trip now than they were five years ago. This percentage is even greater among younger business travelers. Regardless of age, 94 percent stated they do so to gain cultural experiences and to explore the cities they travel to on business. Additionally, almost 55 percent of bleisure travelers bring family members with them, while about 29 percent said they haven’t yet, but would like to or are planning to.
For hoteliers and travel suppliers, bleisure travelers offer a clear opportunity to increase revenues from business travelers extending stays. Non business-oriented hotels should also strategize targeted marketing to this demographic to grab share from business-focused hotels with less appeal as leisure accommodation.
Enhancing business travel
As a travel provider for a younger generation, hoteliers can goal enhance the business traveler experience with leisure travel options. According to Rayman, the most successful brands are those that offer products and services to serve these blurred lifestyles, while helping customers separate work from pleasure when needed. Bleisure travel benefits all parties, so offer incentives to bring along a partner or stay longer – by creating targeted extended stay offers, for example.
The BridgeStreet report shows that the top three bleisure activities include sightseeing, dining and local cultural experiences. By providing a wide range of additional choices to business travelers, hotels can be well positioned as local experts and allies. This can be accomplished by advising guests on what to do and see in the cities they travel to on business, while highlighting unique culture and dining spots. These add-on services will not only create new revenue streams: your brand will stand out in business travelers’ minds for providing a unique and memorable extended stay experience.