Over the past few years, the hospitality industry’s segment of business and leisure travelers have begun to merge into a single entity, now known as “bleisure” travelers. Bleisure travel refers to an extension of business travel that turns into leisure travel. For example, a business trip that may include family or a significant other, which then leads to a short vacation and extended hotel stay. Also commonly known as “bizcations,” this relatively new market has grown considerably in size and popularity, making it a new part of the hotel’s business mix that cannot be ignored. In fact, according to a 2018 Travel Trends Report by Wex and MasterCard, 57% of US business travelers plan to extend their trips for leisure. With this growing trend in the hospitality industry, hoteliers must start developing a better understanding of this market to accommodate bleisure travelers during their stay.
Understanding Bleisure Travelers:
1. Desires accommodations that offer a seamless stay at the hotel
Because a component of bleisure travel does include business necessities, these types of travelers seek hotels that offer well-furnished accommodations. For example, a spacious room with an office area to conduct business work or even a fully equipped kitchen with multiple beds for family members that come along for the vacation. Providing all of the necessary amenities like a refrigerator, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, and all of those types of amenities are a must. Bleisure travelers appreciate a more homely and comfortable environment in comparison to standard hotel rooms. Providing them with the same utilities they have back at home like wireless internet and premium TV channels, you’re more likely to have a returning hotel bleisure guest.
2. Needs to be connected through mobile & broadband at any given time
Like business travelers, bleisure travelers certainly need to be continuously connected across all of their devices. Hotels that offer free wifi are commonly targeted by bleisure travelers, as they need to be connected through to their workplace and loved ones. The majority of bleisure travelers in the present use of multiple devices when traveling, such as a laptop or tablet for a full browsing experience and a smartphone for quick internet usage. Hotels need to offer the right services for guests to utilize their device capabilities seamlessly, either for business or leisure.
3. Strongly influenced by packages and promotions that can be experienced with others
While bleisure travelers are looking for an extended stay at a hotel, offering an irresistible package with a variety of perks or an itinerary of exciting things to do is the most effective way to attract these guests to your hotel. However, it is not wise to create a hotel package without knowing the needs and wants of your guests, so the very first thing to do is to determine what experiences bleisure travelers are most interested in during the booking process. If a majority of your bleisure guests bring their family and children along, then offer a family-friendly experience to the nearby festival, amusement park, top tourist destinations, etc. Instead, if a majority of your bleisure guests travel with their significant other, then tailor your package to a romantic evening on a cruise or a combination of a spa and fancy dinner date. To effectively entice bleisure travelers to book a package, hoteliers must promote their local area and provide guests with enough value to stay there for more than just one night.
The bleisure travel experience is one that involves multiple influences from business, leisure, travel companions, and personal goals, which makes this segment of travelers often tricky to understand. Take the time to understand the desires and behaviors of the growing bleisure segment. This includes their desire for all-inclusive hotel accommodations, being aware of the need to be connected continuously, and their attraction towards hotel packages; hoteliers gain a considerable advantage to the future of travel in hospitality.