As we know in 2020, many vacations were put on hold, as travel plans were canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote work has taken over many industries, but at a certain point, workers have gotten tired of being cooped up in their homes. As a result, the ‘bleisure’ trend, otherwise known as a workation, has only gotten stronger, with many hotels seeing long-term stays for workers simply looking for a change of scenery while staying productive. Revinate recently shared some ways that hotels can appeal to these new workationers, which include providing a reliable, comfortable working environment. With more companies transitioning to remote work, this trend is expected to keep growing in the next few years. First though, let’s go into more detail on what a ‘workation’ or ‘bleisure travel really means.
What is bleisure travel?
Just like the mullet fashion trend of the 70s the bleisure traveler is a business in the front party in the back traveler. You may be wondering, what is bleisure travel? To put it simply, bleisure travel is this: Say your guest has a business meeting Tuesday and Wednesday but they decide to extend their stay through Saturday so they can take advantage of the local scene, and possibly gain a little rest and relaxation at your property. Bleisure travelers don’t plan these vacations months in advance, nor do they meticulously itemize each activity. They just go with the flow after tending to their business.
Regardless of how these bleisure travelers got started, the fact remains that this growing segment is on the rise with 68% of all travelers mixing business with pleasure. In fact, an article in Travel Agent Central stated that in 2018, 90% of millennials engaged in bleisure travel, compared to 81% of generation Xers, and 80% of Baby Boomers. The reason cited most amongst all age groups for these extended trips was to achieve a better work-life balance.
As hoteliers, it is important to recognize the features bleisure travelers are gravitating towards so that the bleisure segment can continue to grow. Let’s look at a few ways you can encourage your bleisure travelers to extend their stays.
This probably goes without saying, but how many times have you had a business traveler ask for the closest FedEx/Kinkos location? How often do you have guests pre-ship business materials to your property for onsite meetings? Installing a business center for quick copies, or short email correspondence could go a long way with your guests. Think about it; your property could be considered a mecca for business meetings creating an entirely different type of guest with this one small addition.
Bleisure travelers use on average 3.1 travel apps when traveling for business. Millennials, Generation Xers and Baby Boomers all choose travel brands based on the technology they use, so it is important when deciding on technology for your property to keep this in mind. Should you offer RFID bracelets for your Key lock system? What about chatbots on your booking engine for commonly asked questions? Both are features that could attract bleisure travelers.
Personalization at the guest level could be a broad category. However, it could be as simple as a smart hotel feature; where your guests could control their temperature or television from their smart phone. Hoteliers often think that these features are costly, but when it comes to pricing your guests’ satisfaction and loyalty, is it possible to put a price on that?
When creating rate codes, consider adding a targeted rate code specifically for bleisure travelers. In creating this rate code hoteliers could allow business travelers to take advantage of a special discounted rate for tacking a few days on to their business travel. This strategy not only allows bleisure travelers to experience additional sights and activities around the property, but it boosts your revenue and occupancy.
Across all generations bleisure travelers are significantly more likely to be satisfied with their quality of life and their work/life balance while they’re on the road than non-bleisure travelers. So, when adding conveniences to grow your property’s bleisure traveler segment, look for things that are unique to your area and property, but ultimately create the most relaxing environment for your guests.
InnQuest Software is a leading technology provider for the hospitality industry. For over 25 years, innQuest has combined hotelier experience with innovative technology to deliver an all-in-one solution that empowers hotels to attract guests, drive customer loyalty, and increase profits. Our flagship property management software, roomMaster, helps manage over 5,500 properties across 100 countries. InnQuest develops scalable solutions ranging from a Hotel PMS, Cloud PMS, Channel Manager, Hotel CRM and helps properties enable guests to Book Direct. We believe that everyone deserves a great guest experience, whether they’re staying at a small B&B, a thousand-room resort, or anywhere in between.
Call us today at 1.813.288.4900, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to walk you through innQuest’s solutions.