The Rise Of Bleisure Travel And How to Make The Most Of It (Part1)
Over the last few years, there’s been a growing trend around business travel. People are starting to mix their work trips with leisure, also known as bleisure travel.
This trend presents a new opportunity for tour and activity providers. The growing bleisure segment largely consists of both millennials and more experienced travelers. Both groups have their own purchasing habits, different from the typical tourist.
By reaching them at the right place and time with special offers, you gain an advantage over competitors. In addition, the opportunity to boost your referrals and positive reviews online can have a long-term impact on your business.
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In this post we’ll suggest the best ways to reach bleisure travelers and tailor your deals for them. But first, we need to look at what exactly bleisure is and what characterizes bleisure travelers. This way, we’ll get a better understanding of the trend. Ready? Let’s dive in.
WHAT IS BLEISURE?
Bleisure is a mix between “business” and “leisure”. It means combining work trips with fun activities while abroad. In simple terms, bleisure mixes business travel with entertainment.
This travel style is getting more common according to studies. Consider this data quoted by Forbes:
- 78% of millennials intentionally add personal time on a business trip (source: Chase)
- 57% of companies have a policy for young employees to extend business trips with vacation time (source: AMEX Global Business Travel)
- 74% of frequent business travelers wish their corporate travel policy included a budget for entertainment (source: Swapnil Shinde, Co-Founder and CEO of Mezi)
And while normal business trips last 2 days on average, bleisure travels can often be 6 days long or more.
Not only do the stats back it up, but many companies see considerable effects from bleisure travel on their bottom line. For example, travel agency CheapOair reports over 20% annual revenue growth in bleisure travel for the last 3 years straight.
There are many reasons bleisure travel is on the rise. To start with, it’s beneficial for employee satisfaction and it costs next to nothing for employers. Tickets are often cheaper when you stay over Saturday. This means companies don’t spend much extra while improving staff morale and attracting better talent. In fact, Booking.com suggest that 30% of people would accept a job with a lower salary if it offers more business trips.
Aside from offering cheaper plane tickets, airlines and travel agents encourage bleisure through their sales and marketing. Which is no surprise – they also get extra revenue through referral fees and longer stays.
In addition, more and more companies are ditching the office and work remotely, making it easier to work and travel for fun at the same time. This is magnified by freelancers and indie entrepreneurs who travel almost full-time, also known as “digital nomads”.
If that’s not enough to prove bleisure is a thing, consider apparel startup Par en Par which creates clothing specifically for bleisure travelers.
WHO ARE BLEISURE TRAVELERS?
According to the CWT survey, bleisure travel is common among millennials aged 25-34. However, the second largest group are middle managers aged 36-54 with average annual incomes close to $80,000. They most often come from the tech industry and represent a lucrative segment overall.
Sometimes it could be a full team retreat where all employees in a company meet in a single location for a few days or weeks of work and fun. Bleisure travelers are typically male, with a US study suggesting that men take more work-related trips (70% male vs 30% female). For a full profile of bleisure travelers, you can also check out this research summary by Altexsoft.
REACHING BLEISURE TRAVELERS
As you can see, bleisure presents a new, lucrative and growing market segment to target. Considering bleisure travelers in your offerings and marketing communication can give you an advantage over competitors. Not just in terms of revenue, but also valuable referrals and online reviews leading to a long-term benefit for your business. In case you have further questions, of course you can contact us.