The bleisure travel trend has evolved a bit recently which has resulted in another trend, the extended or full-time traveler. This new development is being driven in two ways. The first is really just an extension of bleisure travel, with business travelers stretching the trip into many days after the business portion is concluded. Employers are now beginning to offer their employees the opportunity to extend their trips by weeks beyond the length of the original business trip.
The second new development is more ground breaking in nature and represents both the changing workplace and employment standards. Extended travel, while working on projects not related to the travel, is a result of the rise in people working remotely. The capability of performing their tasks digitally is giving workers new found freedoms and the ability to travel while engaging their profession, if they so choose.
Other factors are helping facilitate this trend as well, including the widespread availability of dependable Wi-Fi and appropriate co-working facilities globally, along with highly effective online communication tools. These “digital nomads” have the independence to be traveling while working as long as their ties to home will allow, potentially a month or even a year or more.
The medical tourism trend has been building for some time now in the U.S. with ever-rising healthcare costs. As recently as 2016, according to a study conducted by Visa and Oxford Economics, over 11 million travelers departed the U.S. on healthcare related trips. The study predicts a 25 percent per year growth rate for the trend going forward. The most commonly sought medical procedures include cosmetic surgery, dental procedures and orthopedic surgery; all due to the high quality care provided at a considerably lower cost. Insurance companies in the U.S. either provide limited coverage or none at all for many of those type of procedures, hence the overseas medical tourism market.
The medical tourism trend is not limited to Americans seeking more affordable care elsewhere however. The reverse is true in that many tourists are flocking to the U.S. and its leading specialists in oncology, cardiology and neurology, for example. Many destinations in the U.S., which feature nearby leading healthcare facilities and groundbreaking biomedical research, are marketing themselves accordingly.
Hotels in such areas can effectively position themselves in the worldwide marketplace place by pointing out, not only the attractions, natural beauty and other desirable traits of their destination, but the nearby high quality healthcare options available to travelers.