Bleisure has been a growing concept, it’s been around for about 4 years but has recently become more of a hot topic, and COVID has rocketed the concept to the forefront of the hearts and minds of hotels and their customers.

Post-pandemic has changed the term “Bleisure-traveller” to the “Blended-traveller” but essentially the meaning remains the same – it is the blending of business and leisure travel, it has become a popular travel trend as more people are looking to combine work trips with opportunities to explore new places and add some fun and relaxation to otherwise busy work trips.

In fact, I was a Bleisure guest last week, in Melbourne. I was there on a Photo and Filming shoot for a client, I met with partnership marketing contacts and hosted a Media famil so it was a super busy week, but was wonderful to finish it off with my family who flew in on the Thursday night to spend a long weekend with me to enjoy some Melbourne F1 action, family fun times and naturally indulging in the culinary delights of the Melbourne dining scene.

This emerging blended travel market creates many new opportunities for hoteliers, the key point here is don’t “segment” your guests like we are traditionally used to doing, we used to see a guest check in on a Tuesday and leave on a Thursday and know they were travelling for business, now they check in Monday and stay until the following Monday and they are on a business trip, have a conference to attend, have booked meeting space in the hotel and want help from concierge on a weekend for a family itinerary. These days a traditional booking and stay all looks very different. 

It’s hard for some people who work from home with a family and need to get away, people travel for conferences and add a family getaway to the end or at the beginning. The new bleisure converts around Australia have never had it so good, with more apartment style hotels, key workspaces either in the room or shared working spots in public areas, sockets and charging stations provided all around hotels and resorts, and upgrades to guest services to make work feel more like play. With so many hybrid work and work-from-home schedules, many business travellers are looking for places where they can work from for a period of time, where they can take their families and stay in a place that meets all of these needs. They can work, have some leisure time, enjoy family time and it is a win-win for them.

Hotels are uniquely positioned to meet the demands of companies and their team members through collaboration, creativity, and diversification – Hilton is a great example of this, where they have reimagined areas like extended blended stays, communal spaces, loyalty rewards, contactless technologies, and more.

The benefits for us as Hoteliers, is the incremental streams of revenue – the average Length Of Stay jumps up 30% with a blended guest stay.

Hotels quickly caught onto this additional revenue stream and made their offerings as user-friendly as they could but they also consider the new look of business travel and how they can meet the changing demands of travel buyers, corporate travel managers, and guests themselves.

Make your workplace any place – The laptop luggers want a bit more now…

·           a quiet and comfortable space, perhaps away from the rest of the travel party

·           secure, fast and reliable Wi-Fi

·           convenient access to wellness-related amenities like healthy meals on the go, and fitness equipment and activities – peloton bike and other ideas come to mind

·           the ability to reschedule in-destination activities to accommodate work

In addition there is a rise of apartment hotels for these laptop luggers – space and convenience, flexibility.

Some of my top Blended Travel Trends for hoteliers to consider:

  • Extending work into longer stays to take advantage of leisure activities – how can you encourage the traditional style corporate traveller to stay and explore your local area? A study by Expedia indicates 43% of business trips include a leisure component.
  • Group Travel – many companies are organising group trips and business conferences that can combine the business requirement with some leisure and fun activities.
  • Make your accommodation “bleisure focused” – offer amenities and services that cater to these blended travellers and update your website content and direct messaging to include these “blended benefits”. This could be co-working spaces, fitness facilities and dedicated concierge services.
  • Work-life balance is a priority. As more people continue to prioritise this, blended travel can help to reduce stress and improve overall well-being, whilst still allowing for professional growth and networking opportunities. A number of hotels have tried to incorporate this offering with wellness-focused experiences like yoga classes, healthy food options, and spa treatments.
  • Personalisation remains key but even more critical now – travel companies have become very good at blending work and play through curated itineraries, with access to exclusive events and attractions.
  • Flexible Work Policies – companies are becoming more and more supportive of flexible working and encouraging employees to combine their work and leisure travel, with no real sacrifice on productivity.

Blended travel is a continually growing trend that is becoming the norm and supports what more people are looking for – the balance between work and leisure time, as accommodation providers what are you doing to meet the needs of the Blended (Bleisure) Traveller?…