As I mentioned in a recent post, back in July I attended the Destinations International Annual Convention. It was there that I learned just how prominent the “bleisure” (business + leisure) travel trend is becoming. It’s no secret that Americans are terrible at taking time off. Just Google “Americans + vacation” and you’ll find pages of articles about how we’re neglecting our PTO and that we just don’t know how to take a break. You’ll even find information on a hilarious office souvenirs campaign launched by JetBlue, “cheekily reminding us all to take more time off.”It’s no secret that Americans are terrible at taking time off. Click To Tweet
All jokes aside, I empathize. For many of us, shutting down that laptop and hopping on a ten-day cruise doesn’t seem so simple, especially when we’re already traveling for business ten days out of the month. So, it makes sense that more road warriors should try multitasking. We should make the most of our business trips by tacking a few days of leisure onto the beginning or end. I dipped my toe in the bleisure travel waters earlier this year, and have since made it a personal goal to try to do this whenever I’m in a new city, at least for one day. And I’m not alone.
Expedia Media Solutions’ recent bleisure travel study found that approximately 43 percent of all business trips become bleisure trips. These trips are usually combined with a conference or convention, and sometimes a client meeting or presentation. What’s more is that, when it comes to the bleisure trip formula, leisure days typically equal or exceed business days on said trip. Survey respondents even indicated that they tend to spend more money on leisure activities while on bleisure trips because of the money they saved on travel (66 percent).
- DMOs and CVBs: are you catching all of this? Business travelers to your destination are willing to stick around to spend more time and money! Do not neglect the leisure traveler messaging when communicating with business travelers.
- Hoteliers: this changes the game, doesn’t it? Business-oriented properties can certainly benefit from this trend of visitors extending their stays. Leisure-focused properties should get in the mix too, stealing share from their counterparts by flashing their lifestyle accommodations.
- Meeting planners: are you taking this extra step? Make sure your event attendee prospects know what’s going on outside the convention center walls. They’ll be more likely to register if they take an interest in the destination from a leisure perspective.
- And employers: what does this mean for you? Well, it may become important to implement a bleisure travel policy. I’m not suggesting you babysit, but make sure expectations for conduct while on the clock, as well as what qualifies as a business travel expense are clear.
No matter what role you play, remember that at the end of the day, it’s not about the business traveler or the leisure traveler, but the human traveler. If you can appeal to their interests in both work and play, your odds of gaining their business suddenly become much greater.