Bleisure travel – the newfound way of combining business and leisure travel – is on the rise in the hospitality industry. As working remotely becomes increasingly common and the gig economy breeds more freelancers and digital nomads, the modern workforce as we know it is melding both work and pleasure amid their travels.
What Exactly is “Bleisure” Travel?
More than just a fleeting buzzword that’s trending in hospitality, the idea of “bleisure” travel is a global phenomenon that’s inspiring how hotels design their guest experiences. Bleisure travel can take many shapes, but in its most basic form, it is defined as the combination of enjoyment and pleasure with work and productivity while traveling.
For executive professionals, bleisure might look like combining a business trip with recreational activities, like golfing, tennis, nightlife, sightseeing, exploring nature, or relaxing poolside. But for many bleisure tourists, it’s about the experience of the stay and the ability to get work done in a comfortable atmosphere.
With more and more people conducting business online, the concept of bleisure is highly appealing to the modern traveler. Bleisure tourists seek a complete travel experience that provides the amenities and services to support both their professional and personal needs, from high-speed WiFi to a comfortable and functional space to work and relax from.
More Bleisure Guests are Prioritizing Leisure During Their Stay
Fueled by the digitally-transformed, post-pandemic workforce of 2022, the idea of accommodating bleisure travel has become a hot topic in hospitality. McKinsey & Company published their US Summer Travel Report for 2022 which provides several compelling trends that guests are prioritizing, particularly around leisure, loyalty, and sustainability.
In the report, McKinsey & Company provides several ways hotels can respond to these trends. The first piece of advice on the list was to:
“Encourage “bleisure” stays by highlighting local attractions and events. With leisure booming and business travel recovering, we expect to see a rise in bleisure travel.”
The report, which is based on a US travel and tourism survey, suggests hoteliers should be embracing loyalty programs, green initiatives, and creative strategies to aid guests in their research, helping to reduce friction and enhance their overall travel experience.
What Do the Modern-Day Bleisure Travelers Look Like?
In successfully running a hotel business, profiling and understanding your guest personas (or examples of “bleisure travelers”) is a valuable marketing exercise. As an extension of McKinsey & Company’s research, let’s explore a few of the personas that reflect the modern-day bleisure tourist.
One example of a bleisure traveler is the remote worker or digital nomad. Largely making up the millennial generation, these individuals are often traveling for or with their work. In doing so, they’re looking to make the most of their time by exploring the local area and experiencing new cultures. These young professionals may also prioritize certain tech amenities like reliable, high-speed WiFi and digital cafes from which to work.
A later-generation bleisure traveler is a business executive who is taking a long-weekend trip to attend an industry expo or meet with clients. This professional may be seeking a hotel that offers high-end amenities, such as a spa, fitness center, and pool, as well as a business center equipped with PCs, printers, meeting rooms, and other technologies.
Bleisure tourists could also take the shape of a family traveling for a vacation. This type of traveler may be looking for a hotel that offers amenities and services that cater to both business and leisure needs, such as a business center equipped with computers and internet access for the parent who needs to work remotely, and a pool or playground for the children to enjoy.
Bleisure travelers with kids may also be looking for hotels located near family-friendly activities and attractions, such as theme parks or museums. Alternatively, these travelers may need a hotel that supports children’s activities or other means to keep kids entertained while their parents are working.
How to Accommodate Bleisure Travel in Modern Hotels
In order to prepare and accommodate for bleisure travel, hoteliers must empathize with and understand the needs of their guests to provide the particular types of services and amenities that bleisure travelers are looking for. One benchmark requirement is having dependable, responsive WiFi that’s accessible across the property, including in spas and poolside areas. Connectivity dead zones are a bad look for any hotel, not to mention one hoping to attract the growing market of bleisure tourists.
Today, the design and ambiance of the space go a long way in setting the mood of a hotel. Bleisure travelers are discerning types that prioritize the look, feel, and atmosphere of a hotel when envisioning their perfect spaces from which to work and unwind.
In McKinsey & Company’s US Summer Travel report, 61 percent of survey respondents said that they would be comfortable staying in lodging other than hotels. Hotels should consider enhancing amenities that guests can’t get from alternative accommodations like Airbnb, such as open fitness centers, concierge services, community workspaces, and transportation to and from outside facilities, such as the airport.
Hotel business centers equipped with a myriad of sought-after technologies like touch-screen PC computers, secure Internet access, scanners, faxing, printers, and Microsoft Office function as a valuable means of attracting bleisure travelers. These services, along with in-room guest WiFi and personalized amenities, can help your hotel to stand out to bleisure travelers compared to other hospitality alternatives .
Bring Your Technology Up to Speed with Blueprint RF
Connectivity is a crucial part of supporting the rising economy of bleisure travelers. Today’s modern, tech-savvy hotel guests require the best in Internet speeds, reliability, and security. Equally important, hotel IoT, network infrastructure, and staff members all rely on a strong connectivity to function as needed.
If the guest experience in your hotel is due for an upgrade, learn more about how to bring your hotel WiFi up to speed and enhance your hospitality space by contacting Blueprint RF.