A New Focus on the Bleisure Traveller
For those who don’t travel for work, you might imagine that business trips consist of private jets, 5-star hotels and fine dining but, in reality, it usually means packed flights and long meetings, followed by late nights catching up on emails and grabbing food on the go. Business travel can be both mentally and physically demanding, putting a significant strain on a person’s overall well-being. Research shows working long hours causes 27% of employees to feel depressed, 34% to feel anxious and 58% to feel irritable, which helps to explain why so many business travellers choose to incorporate personal activities that relax and rejuvenate them.
Bleisure travel is a growing trend where professionals carve out some time for themselves while on business. This can either mean adding a few days onto their trip to allow for some relaxation, flying their family out to meet them, or simply dedicating a small part of their day to unwind and experience little bites of local culture outside of work.
How Can Hotels Appeal to Bleisure Travellers?
Most hoteliers already have insight into the wants and needs of both business and leisure travellers and can successfully market to both audiences. Now, with data showing that 75% of travellers extend their business trips, it’s time to appeal to those wanting the best of both worlds.
Don’t Beat About the Bush
Unlike holidaymakers, business travellers don’t get to choose their destination and are sometimes notified of a trip at the last minute. With no time to plan, research the area, or shop hotel options, it’s important your property’s website can instantly and persuasively share your unique selling point. Promote your hotel as well as its location and nearby attractions to capture the attention of bleisure travellers and get them excited for their upcoming stay. Send guests a personalized email prior to their arrival, sharing useful information to help prepare them for their stay whilst promoting your loyalty program or additional perks. And it doesn’t need to end there – brochures for nearby attractions placed in rooms, a pocket-sized map of the area in receptions and providing a shuttle service around town or to a top local destination (shopping centre, museum, beach) are all ways you can make your hotel stand out. Hand your guests all the information they need quickly and easily.
Have the Right Amenities & Services
It’s important to remember that the main reason for a business traveller’s stay is work. Ensuring your property has essential amenities such as a desk, fast WiFi, multiple power outlets and laundry or ironing services remains key. But go one step further. If your hotel has a gym, swimming pool or spa, make them available at later hours for those looking to unwind after a long day. Extended bar and restaurant hours also allow travellers arriving in the evening the chance to enjoy a meal and work in more comfortable surroundings. Host events and activities that can accommodate the typical 9-5 schedule, such as a lobby happy hour, quiz nights with other professionals or fun family activities for those extending their stay. Your hotel should feel like a home away from home, not an office away from the office.
The UK & Ireland are perfect for bleisure travel and London was named the top city for business in Europe last year, so ensure your business guests make the most of your city by encouraging them to explore with complimentary tickets to museums, discounts at local attractions and offers for restaurants and bars in the area as part of their stay. You could also consider bigger packages offering discounts of bookings with additional nights for leisure purposes. This doesn’t have to end when your guest leaves. Be sure to follow-up with them post-departure and offer a package or freebie for their next stay. Many business travellers will return to the same place multiple times, so impress them from the start and they could become a loyal business guest. They may even enjoy your hotel so much that they want to return with friends or family. Bonuses will make your hotel more appealing and will encourage loyalty!
Sometimes, people need to be reminded to slow down. Many elements of business travel, such as being away from family, jet lag and language barriers, can affect a person’s mental health. You can help to ease some of the strain by ensuring your guests have a smooth, stress-free stay. You can promote a healthy work/life balance within your hotel with yoga mats in rooms and complimentary fitness sessions and massages for your business guests. Ensure they are comfortable navigating the local area and are aware of activities they can take part in. Don’t just embrace bleisure travel, endorse it.
It’s not just the people that can benefit from bleisure travel, hotels can too by identifying potential bleisure guests and offering deals and discounts to those that may be more inclined to extend their trip for some leisure time. Guests will appreciate being taken care of, both during their business stay and their leisure time, increasing the chance of repeat bookings. Identifying who your guests and prospects are allows the ability to tailor communications to their needs and drive business.
Our Guest Management System is the only comprehensive CRM solution in the market tailored for hoteliers to engage current, past and potential guests at every stage of the travel journey. Gain and leverage a 360° view of every guest to seamlessly recognize, act on preferences, and deliver personalized messages or offerings at the right time, even as behaviours evolve. Discover more ways our solutions can benefit your business today.