What is Bleisure Travel and Why is it Important to my Hotel?

Nov 28, 2022

Bleisure travel – just the sound of it seems pleasant, doesn't it?

With the increase in remote positions over the last two years, many employees can work from anywhere that has access to internet service. And when "remote" extends beyond the walls of their homes and into hotels and resorts around the world, many of these workers are enjoying bleisure trips, or a blend of business and leisure travel.

According to labor industry expert Lightcast, while the number of remote positions doubled in early 2020, since then the total has more than tripled. What they are finding is that with the return of business travel over the last year, more and more employees are combining personal trips with work.

Hotels and resorts are realizing they must cater to a new type of traveler. "(Bleisure travel is) poised to take over traditional business travel in 2022 and beyond," noted a recent TravelPulse article by Stephanie Diamond of Global Rescue. "A whopping 89% of people plan to add personal vacation time to their business trips in the next year."

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The hybrid guest of 2022 has different interests and preferences than the business traveler pre-2020. These guests are staying longer, spending more money, and enjoying more of what the property has to offer. This is an opportunity for hotels and resorts to truly personalize service for these guests, increase revenue, and reinforce loyalty.

Bleisure travel isn't a new concept; there are just more opportunities today with the flexibility of remote work for many and increasing support from their companies to boost job satisfaction. Aside from opportunity, as the American Express Travel 2022 Global Travel Trends Report noted, many people are focused on spending more time with family and friends. In fact, the report found as many as 79% of respondents look forward to traveling with their families in 2022. That is another key reason why the hotel industry is seeing more bleisure travelers than business alone and why properties should focus on attracting them.

What Can Hotels do to Attract Bleisure Travelers?

Resorts must learn more about their guests and have the ability to act on the information their guests provide to personalize their experiences. Hotel properties are utilizing technology solutions to connect with their guests and better serve them.

The hotels that best connect with their guests – especially bleisure travelers – have a modern property management system (PMS) and a robust booking solution that allows guests to view and select from the services, amenities and activities available on property before they even arrive. These selections and guest history help create a single guest profile. Through the hotel PMS, staff have access to the guest's profile, and with the changing behavior in guests – of combining work with personal travel – that is a huge advantage to the hotel property in providing personalized service. They can better understand the guest's preferences, predict behavior, plan for staffing and inventory needs, and ensure zero disappointment.

These properties are providing their staff members with the tools to create exceptional personalized experiences for their guests, and they are offering services that are attractive to the bleisure traveler – whether reserving a workspace for a conference call, ordering lunch by the pool, or booking a special dinner later that night. With these solutions, hotel properties achieve High Return Hospitality by freeing up staff to focus on their guests and ensuring consistent exceptional service levels. 

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Who Benefits from Bleisure Travel

Bleisure travel is a win-win for guests and the properties they visit. As the BBC reported, "Travel wellbeing relates to job satisfaction, which means people stay productive and stay longer in their jobs,” explained Jeanne Liu of the Global Business Travel Association. “Being able to take your kids or your family, to add some fun elements to a trip, makes that trip much less stressful.”

Companies that allow employees to blend business travel with leisure travel are improving job satisfaction and working toward retaining their employees. In turn, the most successful hotel properties and resorts are capturing more of their spend during these longer stays and ensuring these guests can make the most out of their visit – while working and while enjoying their downtime. Through hotel technology solutions, these properties are maximizing the return on experience for staff and guests by ensuring a positive experience for both. When staff members are able to personalize the guest's hotel stay and create exceptional experiences, it builds loyalty and promotes positive reviews. When solutions help make the staff's job easier and free up more time to spend with their guests, they enjoy their jobs more and want to stay. It’s a win-win.

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