Searching for popular market trends to promote your hospitality business? You’ve come to the right place. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the importance of bleisure travel for hotels and how to attract more bleisure travellers to quadruple your business profitability. 

In today’s post-pandemic scenario, work isn’t thankfully limited to the stereotypical office desks anymore. Job flexibility is at an all-time high; companies have begun prioritizing work-life balance and employee well-being, now more than ever. Amidst all of this, what once used to be strict “business-related travel” has now evolved progressively with a hint of “leisure and enjoyment”.

Undoubtedly, bleisure travel has shot up the travel industry charts as a viral trend. In this blog, we’ll discuss how this tourism trend is becoming popular and how your hotel business could profit from this wave.

What Is Bleisure Travel & Why Is It Popular?

Hospitality folks come across the term “bleisure” every day — but how many are familiar with its true essence?

First coined in 2009, “Bleisure” is a portmanteau of the words business and leisure. It describes a growing trend of travellers who mix business and pleasure on the same trip and has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Bleisure Travel has become so popular, especially post COVID-19 for various reasons. First and foremost, the fine line between personal and professional time is becoming more blurred by the day. With so little time in hand, people are now valuing experiences over things.

Thankfully, modern technological advances now enable people to work from anywhere in the world — so why not from a 5-star resort with a sea-facing balcony? That’s a moment to cherish for years. And finally, there’s a new generation of business travellers who want to make the most of their time away from their offices. This is where things get better — bleisure tourism lets you visit new places, meet new people, and learn new things — all without neglecting your work-related responsibilities.

Besides, those who are travelling for work mostly tend to add a few days onto their trip to explore the area and its popular destinations in detail. This way, they don’t have to exhaust their vacation leaves just to see the nearby sights. It also helps them relax and recharge, which is again, the key to optimal work-life balance. With corporate firms sponsoring almost every little tour expense, it is an opportunity too hard to pass.

To learn about top post-pandemic travel trends, click here.

Current Bleisure Tourism Trends & Statistics

Coming back to the rising importance of bleisure travel for hotels — how big of a buzz are we dealing with here? Let’s check out the statistics –

Who’s Traveling, And How Often?

A 2017 GBTA Bleisure Study has revealed that nearly 40 percent of all business trips are bleisure tours as travellers usually extend their stay to spend quality leisure time. The study also found that seven out of 10 tourists within the 25-30 age group convert their short trips into longer workations.

Balancing Between Business and Leisure

As travel norms have become stricter since the coronavirus pandemic, people are healing from their self-isolation horrors by making the most of their limited get-away time. In this context, an Expedia report found a recurring pattern in the majority of Bleisure Travel cases. Apparently, 66 percent of these travellers cut down on work-related travel expenses to spend extravagantly on more leisure activities.

Most Visited Bleisure Locations

Now is undoubtedly an amazing time to be American, as per statistics. The report shows that US-based travellers engage in an average of seven bleisure trips per year — September and October being the busiest seasons of all. Surprisingly, only 12 percent of these tours happen outside of the United States. Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago were observed to be the top three most-preferred travel destinations for the American workforce.

Temporary Trend or Not?

Last but not least, the question we’ve all been wondering — is this wave another passing fad in the book of hotel industry trends? In a 2022 American Hotel & Lodging Association survey, approximately 90 percent of bleisure tourist respondents showed keen interest to extend their next business tour to spend more leisure time. 

Best believe, this trend is here to stay — and that brings us to the next big question.

Why Are Bleisure Travellers Important For Hotels?

As professionals have begun to show interest in intertwining business with leisure, a new and even bigger market has risen for hospitality businesses to capitalize on. The more efficient you’re at meeting the demand, the higher the revenue. In this competitive market, two key factors can help you attract more guests and beat the competition – a powerful hotel management software to streamline operations and personalized guest experiences.

The aforementioned GBTA study further shows that 82% of travellers tend to extend their stay in the same hotel instead of switching accommodations throughout the entire trip. Besides, the Expedia report also states that on average, this category of tourists tends to stay 6 or more nights per trip – 3.7 nights being business-related, and 2.6 for leisure activities.

Let’s also not forget that these travellers are mainly corporate professionals, further implying they don’t mind spending extravagantly for memorable experiences. Let’s add everything up — the importance of bleisure travel for hotels is only increasing, and hotels must surely put in serious effort to attract more corporate tourists.

Five Tips For Hotels To Attract More Bleisure Travelers 

Here’s what happened — remote workers are tired of either working in silos or in-office. 

Consequently, the concept of bleisure travel has grown to revolutionize this 32 billion-dollar hotel industry. Amidst this shift, hotels are struggling to attract more of these travellers and make the most of the wave. How do hospitality businesses make it easier? The short answer would be to recognize and add certain trending features these tourists gravitate towards the most.

But again, what are these hotel industry trends and how does your hotel get in sync? This section compiles a list of tips that can help attract and accommodate more bleisure travellers –

1. Create A Work-Friendly Infrastructure:

Bleisure tourists seek leisure activities to refresh and recharge but that’s only after catering to their work responsibilities. During their stay, most of their time is spent finishing up their work. Most people are looking for comfortable spaces where they can work without any disturbance. Thus, creating a work-centric environment automatically drives in more bleisure tourism guests. Here are some popular add-ons to your hotel property that make it work-friendly: 

  • Install high-speed Wi-Fi and internet throughout the property for your business clients to work without any inconvenience.
  • Keep stationeries nearby that can come in handy for businessmen or corporate professionals while working.
  • If possible, create special workspaces/conference rooms where bleisure tourists can handle their business-related tasks without external disturbance.
  • In case any technical problem arises, keep a few spare IT accessories (spare laptop, power bank, PC, etc.) on your property to help your clients in their hour of need.

To learn about how the hospitality industry is transforming through digitalized guest experiences, read this.

2. Invest In Smart Hotel Management Systems:

Staying in tune with the latest technological trends, be it any industry, automatically offers you a competitive advantage. A 2019 State of Business Travel Survey also highlighted that 93 percent of tourists (especially bleisure travellers) are more inclined towards technologically-advanced brands that offer a seamless experience.

How can hoteliers leverage this opportunity? Simply by switching to smart hotel management systems that make your business more visible to millions of potential clients looking for accommodation.

InnQuest, an industry-leading, cloud-based hotel management software focuses on increasing efficiency for hotels with its list of attractive features. From real-time availability to direct integration, booking intelligence, and smart revenue management — InnQuest has you covered.

3. Make Room For Leisure Activities:

This goes without saying — the best way to attract bleisure tourists is by adding “leisure activities” to your service offerings. Bleisure travel is half-business-half leisure where travellers tend to spend more money on the latter, according to reports. What does this suggest?

Well, hoteliers can leverage this point by adding leisure amenities to attract more clients for longer stays. Some common leisure activities that bleisure travellers are more inclined towards include the following:

  • Swimming pool/jacuzzi
  • Sauna/steam bath facilities
  • Spas and massage rooms
  • Gym / Fitness center, etc.

It doesn’t stop there — partnering with local tourism agencies to create leisure activities for travellers can also work in your favour. Also when it comes to evergreen hotel industry trends, sightseeing is always one of the top contenders. In most cases, bleisure travellers decide amongst these activities after they reach the destination and complete their work-related commitments. Thus, adding sightseeing activities to your accommodation package can boost your property’s ancillary revenue.

4. Introduce Specialized Offers For Business Travelers:

Speaking of packages, another smart tip to increase your bleisure travel bookings is simply through specialized trip offers. It’s pertinent to remember that many, if not all, bleisure tours aren’t usually pre-planned. Hoteliers are partially responsible to attract guests with fun activities to spend leisure time, convincing them to extend their stay.

How to make bleisure travel more enticing? Begin with simple add-ons like customized menus comprising of different cuisines for different meals. You can also offer the guests a certain discount for every extra night spent in the hotel. Lastly, you can team up with nearby entertainment brands and advertise more exciting local activities to amp your bleisure offers.

5. Focus More on Personalization:

Our final suggestion is the greatest advice for brands to repeat customer transactions — offering a highly personalized experience. When the focus is mainly on catering to what the guests prefer, businesses are sure to thrive.

Leading Hotel Management Software such as InnQuest simplify the hotel booking process as well as allow hoteliers to track their guest details before, throughout, and post-stay, and keep note of their special requests (if any). Not only does this make bookings easy but also provides you with basic information to personalize their experience by paying attention to what they desire. Hoteliers can better personalize the guest experiences by noting down their preferred room type, cuisine, transportation requirements, leisure interests, and more.

If the travellers arrive as couples, help them create wonderful memories with any information at hand during their bleisure travel. For example, you can suggest to your clients the nearby popular restaurants (based on their preferences) and offer complimentary transportation services too. The main focus here is to enhance their experience which goes a long way toward building customer loyalty.

Wrapping Up

Frankly, the importance of bleisure travel for hotels cannot be overstated, especially now that self-isolation regulations aren’t as strict. This modern wave of travel has encouraged people from all age groups to ensure proper work-life balance while on their hustle. As a hotelier, you can leverage this trend by applying the aforementioned tips and becoming one of the most preferred destinations for bleisure travel. 

At InnQuest, we understand the importance of the challenges faced by businesses in the hospitality industry. InnQuest’s mission isn’t just to provide the best hospitality management system but to ensure hospitality businesses are supported whenever they need it. This is why we offer competitive pricing, without sacrificing quality or functionality in our software solutions. Book a demonstration of our award-winning hotel management software here.