Having fun activities mixed in with your business trip is not an unthinkable option anymore. A new kind of traveler, the bleisure traveler is starting to emerge and travel industries must fulfill their needs.
Bleisure • bəˈ lēZHər • Mixing business travel with leisure travel.
In the US alone 60% of business trips has turned into a bleisure trip.
According to a study made by Expedia Group in 2018 this trend, belisure, has increased by 40% since 2016. This behavior has been common for a long time but now younger business travelers (millennials) are the ones that turn their business travels into bleisure.
Why Is Bleisure Growing?
The decision to turn their business trip into a bleisure opportunity depends on different aspects,
- This is an exciting or new location they have never been to before
- How close is the trip to the weekend?
- How much more is it going to cost ?
- Flexibility to bring over a friend or loved one
- They have friends or family close to where they’re going
- Sightseeing locations
- Restaurants and food in the city
- Night attractions like bars and nightclubs
- Recreational activities near the area
- Cultural, musical or sporting events that will take place during their visit
Jump into this Areas of Opportunity
Booking for business trips is simple, they just need to make sure to be on time for the business event. But if they are considering to turn it into a bleisure trip it means that they need to do some research to plan their trip and what they are going to do.
This represents an opportunity for most players in the travel/hospitality business. Whether you have corporate travel platforms, you’re an OTAs (Online Travel Agencies), or a hotel chain you can offer options to help these travelers put together their bleisure trip.
Corporate trips are paid for by the company and leisure travel is paid for by the traveler.
Corporate travel platforms should provide an easy way to differentiate and manage this these alternate forms of payment. Make sure to support this mix and make it easy to book.
Packing just the essentials is hard. It’s even harder to pack for a bleisure trip. This almost always requires extra luggage.
For an airline, you can offer free extra luggage when you notice that people are adding days to their trip for leisure activities. Loyalty programs can easily fulfill the needs of these travelers.
Bleisure travelers wonder where are they going to stay after the business ends. Some may stay on the same hotel their company booked them, others will decide to move to a cheaper place, an Airbnb or with a friend or family.
Provide options so they book the whole trip with you as they extend their trip. Hospitality has a big opportunity here.
Bleisure allows travelers to visit new places for less money because the company pays for the flight. The traveler still has to pay for their own entertainment.
Hotels can take advantage of this by leveraging partnerships with the operators of local activities and attractions.
Millennials are all into sharing the good and the bad things at the moment.
Make this your best ally. For example, you can provide curated pictures that they can share instantly to their followers, either by using the pics directly or by going to those picturesque places and taking selfies. Give them great bleisure experience, and they’ll make it look desirable on social media.
Always One Step Ahead
Travel companies can leverage these areas of opportunity and turn them into their advantage to improve the bleisure travel experience. They can help the travelers and their employers so they have an easier time managing their employees travel.
The line between personal and professional is starting to blur. Don’t be afraid of it Jump into this trend and make it part of your success.