The hotel industry is picking up pace and more people are out on the road than they were a year back. But it's not just the digital nomads, the families, or the senior citizens who are queuing up in the hotel lobby, there's a new group of travelers booking accommodations: the bleisure travelers.
Bleisure mixes business with leisure. In this type of travel people on business trips stay back for a couple of days extra to kick back, relax and enjoy everything the new place has to offer.
According to a TravelPulse report, 89% of travelers are looking to add personal vacation days to their business trips. And the good part is that it's a universal trend with professionals of all ages looking to try this out. Bleisure travel is on the rise because:
- Travel expenses for employees are reduced since the bulk of the business trip is financed by their company. Employees only pay for the extra days they're staying back
- Companies are happy to promote bleisure travel because this allows employees to rest and rejuvenate after serious work on the trip. Happy employees are productive employees
- Bleisure travel is part of the workplace flexibility trend. Being able to choose how and from where they want to work means a lot for job seekers and companies want to retain talents by packaging bleisure travel
Now that you know bleisure travelers can open a new revenue stream, here are 5 ways your hotel can cater to this growing customer base:
1. Offer bleisure-specific amenities
If you want bleisure travelers to stay in your hotel, you must offer services that are important to them. This means the hotel infrastructure should be conducive to work and recreation.
Build multiple workstations, invest in better office supplies, furniture, gadgets, and acoustics, and most importantly, upgrade your WiFi network to offer super-fast internet for conferencing and file sharing.
2. Create bleisure packages
One of the best ways to improve ROI for bleisure amenities is by introducing special packages. Business travelers love packaged services because it means one less thing for them to worry about.
You can include rooms and workstation combo, and add fitness and food services as you go higher. You can also try incremental offers to encourage longer stays. Packages also allow you to upsell new services such as yoga, spa, and reiki to address the wants of bleisure travelers. If you can package end-to-end services thoughtfully you’ll close more high-value bookings.
3. Market to the right crowd
Bleisure travelers are a specific crowd and you wouldn't find them with generic marketing. While running online ads, use LinkedIn to target busy professionals with your bleisure services.
You should also collaborate with OTAs that serve businesses and bleisure travelers. By combining the right distribution partners and right marketing channels, you can create huge demand for your services.
4. Use tech for hyper-personalized services
Bleisure travelers are tech-savvy professionals and they appreciate technologies that make their lives easier. While targeting bleisure travelers, don't forget to flaunt how tech-forward your hotel is.
Use contactless mobile apps that allow guests to virtually check-in/check-out, book amenities, order in-room services, chat with support and even book valet services. Guest apps also give you first-party data to personalize your services by integrating with your PMS and CRM.
Mobile guest apps are driving the new-age guest interactions and you cannot afford to fall behind. Not sure where to start? Check out MyConect’s two-way integrated app for guests and hotel staff.
5. Encourage repeat stays with loyalty programs
Business trips are not a one-off event and if you can impress the company or the corporate guests with your services and efficiency, you can turn them into a loyal customer segment.
Use reward-based marketing to offer discounts and extra services to bleisure travelers who return within a specific time. Based on booking value and frequency, you can also offer unique freebies. Customer retention gives you far better value than customer acquisition.