Offer Flexibility And Value
A clear focus by hoteliers on a hotel property’s location as a desirable destination is critical to effectively capitalizing on the bleisure (business travelers extending their stay to include leisure time) trend. But there is much more hotels can offer to their business guests in order to convert them into a stay-extending, bleisure guest. A recent survey study by Colloquy of the factors driving the growing bleisure trend, among other travel habits, found that 76 percent of business travelers would extend their stay for leisure time if hotels would offer them discounted rates for friends or family. This amounts to a significant travel market opportunity for hotels not so already engaged.
Since the vast majority of bleisure travelers are staying on their dime once their business in town is finished, offering corporate rates to business travelers who extend their stays beyond work commitments is one way to leverage this trend. While doing so results in reduced revenue, occupancy is maintained with less guest turnaround. Alternatively, discounts can be creatively packaged within required weekend stay over nights or progressively discounting additional nights up to a limit, for example.
Since the bleisure traveler often does so with family, providing a family-friendly stay is crucial in order to successfully leverage this segment. Hoteliers could partner with local businesses to offer guests value packages, including discounted admissions to area attractions, tours, or entertainment which are appealing to families. For couples, a spa package for example could inspire a business traveler to extend their stay with their significant other.
Don’t Forget Why They Are There
Business travelers naturally form the basis of the bleisure trend and so hoteliers should never lose sight of why they are staying in the beginning. Make sure all their primary business needs are met first and provide a fast, reliable and safe Wi-Fi network with a comfortable workspace area in the room accommodations. Offering flexible check-in and check-out options are always important to the business traveler. Business meeting spaces should be not only comfortable, but meet all equipment needs as well.
Targeting the business traveler with email offers for extending their stay for leisure may entice them to do so. Make the offers well in advance of business travel whenever possible. Raise awareness with business guests of extended stay options the hotel may offer, both during and following their stay. This can be accomplished both through electronic means and printed matter left in guest rooms as well.
For hotels eager to increase occupancy and the resultant revenues, the bleisure traveler literally offers hoteliers the best of both worlds. Fully leveraging this trend in travel should be a priority for much of the hospitality industry.