Increase bookings and revenue by embracing the booming bleisure travel trend for hotels and destinations! Our expert tips help you cater to travelers seeking to blend work and play.
As professionals strive to make the most of their time outside the office by discovering new places and immersing themselves in diverse cultures, the popularity of bleisure travel – blending work and play – has skyrocketed. Catering to bleisure travelers can increase bookings and revenue, as these travelers often have more disposable income and the flexibility to extend their stays. To help you make the most of this growing trend, we’ve compiled a list of seventeen expert tips on embracing bleisure travel for hotels and destinations.
The travel industry has faced many challenges recently due to the pandemic, a shift towards remote work, and decreased business travel. Inflation and economic instability have also impacted the travel industry. The industry continues to adapt to these changes and prove its resilience. At the same time, these challenges marked a new era for travel, perceived now as the ultimate standard for luxury. Whether traveling for work or vacation, people are now looking to get the most out of their trips.
There are countless ways to cater to the unique interests and requirements of bleisure travelers. Alongside our expert tips, we’ll showcase six inspiring examples of hotels and destinations that have mastered the art of appealing to bleisure travelers.
As the saying goes, “work hard, play hard” – this constant desire for an excellent work-life balance is a mindset tied to how the bleisure traveler thinks. The term bleisure is a portmanteau of business and leisure. The trend started in the early 2000s and has gained popularity due to the rise of remote work and flexible schedules, making it easier for individuals to extend their business trips for leisure.
76% of business travelers plan to take a bleisure trip in the next 12 months.
Bleisure travelers are typically professionals who have the flexibility to mix business with pleasure and are looking for hotels and destinations that cater to both. They tend to be more affluent and willing to splurge on leisure activities. They travel more frequently and usually benefit from extended stays, making them a unique audience for the hospitality industry.
It’s a sure thing! They want the best of both worlds, including business facilities like fast WiFi and meeting rooms and also leisure amenities like fitness centers and swimming pools. The bleisure travelers value immersing themselves in the local culture and trying new experiences during their trips. When choosing a workspace, a fast and reliable internet connection, comfortable seating, and access to printing and copying facilities are top priorities for digital nomads. They also value working in a quiet, private space and accessing a community of like-minded professionals.
Catering to bleisure travelers can boost occupancy rates and increase revenue. However, attracting this type of visitor requires a different approach than targeting only leisure or business travelers. To help your hotel or destination, we’ve gathered seventeen expert tips to help elevate your offerings and attract bleisure travelers.
Tips for Hotels
#1 Provide Flexible Check-In/Out Options for Maximum Convenience
One of the top priorities for bleisure travelers is having control over their schedule, and offering flexible check-in and check-out times can be a game-changer. By allowing guests to choose their preferred times, you can increase their satisfaction and make their experience more convenient. This is especially important for those with early or late business meetings.
#2 Create Comfortable Workspaces with Top-Notch Internet
Bleisure travelers often require dedicated workspaces to remain productive during their stay. To cater to this need, offering comfortable workspaces with a fast and reliable internet connection, comfortable seating, and access to printing and copying facilities can attract them to your hotel.
#3: Enhance Productivity with Tech Support and Rental Services
Efficiency is crucial for digital nomads. Make sure that rooms have comfortable working desks and chairs. If you offer co-working spaces, equip them with monitors, sockets, and adaptors. Keep the cables organized and the coffee close to the co-working space.
#4: Keep Your Guests Fit and Healthy with a Gym or Fitness Package
Fitness is essential to many travelers, and offering a gym or fitness package can help attract and retain bleisure travelers. They will appreciate the possibility of keeping their home routine in terms of physical activity – and taking a break from work.
#5: Impress with a Variety of Food & Drink Options
Bleisure travelers often want to experience the local culture and try new cuisines. A carefully crafted F&B experience, including local cuisine, can appeal to them and add value to their stay.
#6 Reward Both Business and Leisure Travel with a Loyalty Program
A loyalty program that rewards those traveling for both business and leisure can increase the return rate of your guests.
#7 Highlight Your Bleisure-Friendly Amenities in Marketing Materials
Make sure to highlight the amenities and facilities tailored to bleisure travelers in your online listings and marketing materials. Include pictures of dedicated workspaces, fast WiFi, meeting rooms, and flexible check-in and check-out times.
#8 Listen to What Your Guests are Saying
Use Post-Stay Surveys to capture as much information as possible. Personalize your survey and questions to get the data you need. The insights will help you refine the guest experience, and other travelers will be more inclined to book their next stay with you.
Track one of the essential categories for bleisure travelers: WiFi. Our latest data shows that WiFi is the #1 factor that can decrease your performance score. It proves that a stable and reliable internet connection is essential for every guest.
We analyzed more than 30 million global reviews in Q4 2022. The data shows that WiFi is the factor most likely to decrease your hotel performance.
Tips for Destinations
#1 Entice Travelers with Diverse Leisure Activities
Offering diverse leisure activities like outdoor recreation, cultural events, and local attractions can appeal to bleisure travelers who want to mix work and play.
#2 Share the Unique Cultural Experiences the Destination has to Offer
Promoting unique cultural experiences, such as local cuisine, arts and culture, and history, can help attract bleisure travelers who want to immerse themselves in the local culture.
#3 Promote Accessibility and Ease of Travel
Highlighting the destination’s accessibility, such as its proximity to major airports and transportation options, can make it easier for bleisure travelers to plan their trip.
#4 Provide a Variety of Accommodation Options
Offering various accommodation options, such as hotels, vacation rentals, and serviced apartments, can help attract bleisure travelers who want flexibility and choice.
#5 Connect Bleisure Travelers With a Sense of Community through Events and Local Connections
Host networking events and connect bleisure travelers with local entrepreneurs and freelancers. This can create a sense of community for bleisure travelers and help them feel more connected to the destination.
#6 Partner with Local Businesses to Offer Memorable Bleisure Experiences
Partnering with local businesses to offer packages, such as dining, tours, and activities, can help bleisure travelers save time on planning.
#7 Encourage Repeat Visits with a Bleisure-Friendly Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs can be a powerful tool for building loyalty and encouraging repeat visits among bleisure travelers, who may be more likely to return to destinations where they feel valued and appreciated.
#8 Support Sustainable Tourism Practices
Promoting sustainable tourism practices, such as environmentally-friendly accommodation options and responsible tourism activities, can help attract bleisure travelers who want to travel responsibly and sustainably.
#9 Measure Your Performance and Competitiveness:
Look at what your visitors are saying. By understanding thousands of hotel reviews, you can drive better business decisions for your destination, measure performance, and identify unique selling points and areas of improvement.
Let’s dive into the world of successful hotels and destinations that have embraced the bleisure travel trend. Buckle up, and let’s see how these industry leaders have adapted their offerings to meet the demands of the modern traveler.
Hotels Embracing Bleisure Travel
#1 Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy
Photo source: Apartment in Florence (@marriottbonvoy)
Marriott International has launched Apartments by Marriott Bonvoy to cater to the growing demand for bleisure travel by providing travelers with flexible and spacious extended stay options. The brand offers a home-away-from-home experience with hotel-style amenities to meet the unique needs of bleisure travelers.
#2 Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino
Photo source: Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort (@hiltonaruba, @lifewithja)
Hilton knows how important it is to stay connected and energized while on vacation. That’s why they’ve introduced their Power Palapa offer – the ultimate solution for modern travelers who want to blend work and leisure. The Power Palapa is the perfect place to recharge physically and technologically. The offer includes a power and USB charging station, a laptop cooling pad, a sunshade privacy cover, bottled water, and a power bowl with hydrating aloe juice or coconut water. It is a perfect place for guests who want to bring their work to the beach while enjoying the sound of the waves.
#3 Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Photo source: Four Seasons Hotel Toronto (@fstoronto, @thisrenegadelove)
Recognizing the need for travelers to blend work and leisure, Four Seasons offers services and amenities to make it easier for guests to stay productive while enjoying their travels. Four Seasons ensures business travelers have everything they need to get work done, from spacious rooms equipped with ergonomic workspaces to in-room technology, such as high-speed wifi and printing services. Many hotels offer coworking spaces, allowing travelers to network and collaborate with like-minded individuals. They offer the comfort, convenience, and luxury travelers expect while providing the services and amenities needed to make the most of work and leisure time.
Destinations Embracing Bleisure Travel
Barcelona, a top tourist destination, has launched the Workation program to attract more bleisure travelers.
This vibrant city boasts a rich history, and it has a high concentration of coworking spaces and cafes with good WiFi, world-class cuisine, and a range of leisure activities sure to captivate travelers. The diverse cultural scene and the sense of community make it a top destination for bleisure travel.
The Barcelona Workation program, launched by Turisme de Barcelona and the Barcelona Provincial Council, aims to attract digital nomads, freelancers, and digital professionals. The program offers accommodation and special deals on cultural and leisure activities to enable professionals to work and live like a local in Barcelona. The Barcelona Card Workation provides discounts and free admission to museums and attractions. The surrounding areas of Barcelona offer diverse experiences such as beaches, fishing villages, vineyards, mountains, art and cultural heritage, culinary delights, and health-giving thermal springs.
By providing a well-rounded, work-friendly destination, DMOs can make their cities or regions a top choice for bleisure travelers and boost the local economy.
#2 The Island of Bali
Bali is an excellent destination for bleisure travelers and is known for its digital nomad community.
This paradise offers a unique combination of business and leisure opportunities. Bali’s thriving tourism industry makes it an ideal location for bleisure travelers. The island has a wide range of accommodations, from budget-friendly options to high-end luxury resorts. Bali has a strong infrastructure, including a good internet connection, essential for digital nomads. Whether it’s a culinary, cultural, or outdoor experience, Bali is the place for bleisure travelers.
Tokyo is a best-practice destination for bleisure travel due to its efficient transportation system, allowing travelers to explore the city and surrounding areas easily.
The capital of Japan is a safe and welcoming city with a rich cultural heritage, providing plenty of opportunities for visitors to experience local culture and tradition.
Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau, the organization managing destination marketing, constantly looks to create offerings for those seeking to mix business and leisure during their trips.
A top priority is promoting Tokyo as a business & events destination, with many options for the business traveler to find exciting venues, hotels, restaurants, or conference centers. Travelers who plan to visit after work have a wide choice. Whether it’s a list of restaurants with foreign language menus in Tokyo or tour guide services by Tokyo volunteer guides, their mission is to provide the best Tokyo experience for the bleisure traveler.
More and more people combine work and vacation: 76% of business travelers plan some leisure activities during their trips in the upcoming year. This unique audience wants flexible check-in/check-out, fast WiFi, comfortable workspaces, and a variety of local attractions to enjoy after work. Catering to the needs of this unique profile will help your hotel and destination attract more travelers and increase return rates.
Alexandra has a degree in Cultural Tourism. Her passion for travel & photography has brought her to the hospitality tech industry. At TrustYou, she embarked on a journey to discover hotel tech marketing from various perspectives, from interacting with our prospects to crafting content for hoteliers.
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