Business travel usually means boardroom meetings, negotiations and presentations. Right? Wrong. Increasingly more and more business travellers are looking to extend their business trips, turning them into leisure breaks when, and where, possible. HotelREZ sums up important information on this growing trend affecting business travel.

What is Bleisure?

This is how bleisure works in a nutshell:

  • An employee is sent on a two/three days business trip.
  • They will take time off at the end of the week and tag on a few days of rest and relaxation.
  • They might even invite a partner or family to come along too – paying only for the extra air fare(s) and the extended hotel stay.

The word bleisure comes from the mashing of the words business and leisure, to attempt and explain the growing trend in business travel where the blurring of the professional and personal lives of travellers occurs. In today’s increasingly globalised and time-pressed world, where employees are regularly making trips both domestically and abroad in order to develop new partnerships, negotiate deals or collaborate with colleagues from other offices, it is not surprising that the lines between work and play become increasingly more ambiguous.

The rise of the Bleisure traveller

Just last year Bridge Street Global Hospitality produced a comprehensive report on Bleisure travel where business travellers worldwide were surveyed. The report came up with some interesting results:

  • 83% of respondents use time on business trips to explore the city they’re visiting;
  • The majority of respondents (60%) admitted to have taken bleisure trips in the past, with most (30%) respondents adding at least two holiday days to their business trips;
  • More than half (54%) of travellers that take bleisure trips bring their family members or significant other with them;
  • Six out of 10 of respondents said to be more likely to take bleisure trips today than they were five years ago.

Another interesting aspect of this growing trend is how the new generation of millennial travellers is embracing it so much more when compared to the older generation of business travellers. In 2013, the business travel arm of Expedia, Egencia, conducted a survey of 8,500 travellers in 24 countries, and found that 18-30 year olds take more leisure trips than their older peers, and are also more likely to bring a significant other on a business trip.

An Opportunity for Hotels?

With the MICE segment of travel (Meetings, Incentive, Conferences and Exhibitions) tending towards the more traditional leisure travel behaviours, needs and wants, hotels need to take notice and start adjusting their approach. So how can the hospitality world embrace this trend and entice business travellers to stay longer?

Earlier this year, travel intelligence company Skift has produced a yearbook on the megatrends defining travel in 2015; and one of the highlighted trends concerns the merging of business and leisure travel. According to Skift, the amount of travellers subscribing to this new business travel style will only continue to grow in 2015.

For hotels this basically means that alongside with their MICE proposition to corporates, their in-house leisure facilities should be highlighted as a significant USP (unique selling proposition).  After all, it isn’t hard to imagine why things such as a pool, gym, golf course, Spa facilities or even the possibility of transfers to the local beach or town centre might be appealing to this new breed of business travellers.

Want to know more? Here are some interesting reads:

Skift2015 Trend: Business Travelers Adopt New Rules For Travel
Bridge Street Global HospitalityBleisure Report 2014
HotelREZ How to Market to Millennial Travellers
Buying Business Travel – Special Report: The Bleisure Principle

Want to know what HotelREZ can do for your Hotel?

HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts is a hotel representation company providing distribution, sales and marketing consultancy and technology to independent hotels and small chains. We provide properties with GDS representation under our own HO chain code, and help market hotels to thousands of travel and MICE agents and partners worldwide. For more information on joining our portfolio of unique and independent hotels contact our Business Development team today or complete our hotel membership enquiry form.