Being in the hotel industry, we can tell you that travellers were always typically divided into two clear-cut groups; the business travellers or the leisure travellers.
However, in recent times we have seen the emergence of a new group of travellers, almost a hybrid of the two traditional groups. This group of travellers have been named the ‘bleisure’ travellers fondly known in hospitality as the bleisure guest.
What is a Bleisure traveller?
Quite simply, bleisure travellers are professionals who mix their business trips with their passion for travelling.
More than just a trend, the ‘bleisure guest’ looks like it is on its way to becoming a lifestyle.
Did you know? The stats behind the Bleisure Guest.
- Saying that ‘bleisure’ is more than just a phase can be backed up by a BridgeStreet Global Hospitality report which says that 60% of travellers have said that they have taken bleisure trips and at least 30% of them have added at least two extra days to their trip.
- 78% of respondents in the report agree that adding leisure days to business travel adds value to work assignments.
- 83% of respondents use time on business trips to explore the city they’re visiting.
- At least 54% of travellers that take bleisure trips bring their family members or significant other with them
Are they really an emerging market?
With business travel on the rise, especially international business travel, this is a market that hotels need to keep an eye out for.
As can be seen in the graph above global business travel spending grew from 2015 to 2016, and the industry is forecasted to rise to 1.6 trillion U.S. dollars by 2020.
These numbers prove that there will be more and more business travellers in various destinations, especially as the global economy continues to make travelling easier and more accessible.
Also, the bleisure traveller is highly likely to extend their trips, especially if they are visiting a new country or city.
They may bring their family, friend or spouse along with them, to adventure with and that is why hotels need to target this market; it is a potential goldmine.
How do you attract a Bleisure guest to your hotel?
- Use the right distribution partners; this includes professional conference organisers that work with business travellers, corporate travel agents, tour operators, internal company travel agencies, secretaries and the admin staff at government organisations.
- Create targeted packages and promotions that will allow the business traveller to take advantage of the corporate rate if they decide to stay on after their business is complete.
- Offer discounted rates to friends or family members to encourage them to bring more guests along. At the end of the day, it’s all about bums in beds right?
- Keep it simple; at your venue, you could be offering things your bleisure guest will enjoy..breakfast, free drinks at the bar, special packages by Spa therapist for beauty & massage treatments and team building fun if they are in a group.
- Collaborate with local businesses to create special offers, discounts and mutual exchange arrangements for your guests. For example, you could organise reduced rates to adventure or sports facilities, get great rates for fishing & dive charters, water parks and museums fees, even free tickets to a local event. In exchange, these companies can hand out voucher discounts to your restaurant or room night rates.
- Ensure that business travellers are aware of your offer – ask the company if you can get a list of guests and send them a pre-welcome email as well as information about the bleisure packages that they can take advantage of. A personal note on their beds are also a good idea, in case they missed the email.
As you can see, we have just touched briefly on the paradigm shift in business travel and on the emergence of the bleisure market.
There is a whole lot more that can be said and done to attract a bleisure guest and we will be writing a series of informative posts on the subject – so keep an eye on our blog page for them.
So just because you know how to attract a bleisure guest, don’t forget about your business and leisure ones either 🙂
To find out what else is trending in the hospitality and events industry, download our 2018 Ultimate Trends Guide today!