The rapidly growing travel trend of combining a business trip with some leisure time has created a new category of traveler, the bleisure traveler. The trend is one which is proving to be highly profitable for hoteliers. Expedia has reported, in a study conducted in concert with Luth Research, that 43 percent of all trips today are business and leisure combined. Furthermore, the online travel agency has reported, more than 70 percent of business travelers have added a leisure component to their business travel. This makes the bleisure traveler an extremely important segment for the future revenue growth of hotels.
Of course, the location of the hotel and the surrounding area as a destination plays a critical role in determining whether a business traveler will extend their hotel stay. According to the study, 66 percent of those surveyed stated as much. However, there are a number ways in which hotels can entice business travelers to extend their trips to afford them some leisure time at, or near, their business destinations. This is crucial for hoteliers in order to leverage the maximum revenue from the bleisure traveler trend. The Expedia research states that the average length of stay jumps up from two nights for the business traveler to six nights for the bleisure traveler, highlighting the importance of this segment.
Focus On The Destination
If a business traveler has chosen to extend their trip they are most likely interested in enjoying the surrounding area and destination where the hotel is located. Make that enjoyment as pleasant and carefree as possible by shifting focus from the needs of a business traveler to the leisure traveler. By providing guests with helpful information links on the hotel website or app, business travelers can make a smoother transition to leisure time and make the most of what may be limited time for them.
The helpful information can be as simple as a travel guide or sightseeing maps of the area around the hotel. Tips and recommendations regarding local cuisine and restaurants, attractions, entertainment, or sporting events in the region are also valuable for guests. Taking it a step further, hoteliers could establish mutually beneficial partnerships with these local businesses which tourists may frequent in order to entice extended hotel stays from business travelers.
In part three we will highlight several more ways in which hotels could convert business travelers into bleisure guests.