Six ways your property can benefit from the bleisure travel trend


Let's talk about bleisure.

We are referring, of course, to the practice of combining work and leisure travel, allowing business travelers to extend their stay beyond work obligations and spend time exploring the destination while immersing themselves in the local culture.

This hybrid approach to work trips has also been called “mullet travel” by Wall Street Journal reporter Jacob Passy, which is a cute name, but it makes sense; just as the mullet hairstyle can be described as “business in the front, party at the back”, a bleisure trip is often front-loaded with work, with a bit of time for fun at the back end. 

As former Spirit Airlines CEO Ben Baldanza put it in a 2023 Forbes article:

Have you ever gone to a trade show in Las Vegas and stayed an extra day to see Cirque du Soleil or another show? How about going to a business event and taking the afternoon off to play a round of golf? Then you are a bleisure traveler, though the idea of this kind of travel is expanding largely because of hybrid work. Since more people can work from any location, it is easier to arrive early or stay a few days extra when taking a business trip because work can still get done.

Another approach to blending business and pleasure while traveling has been dubbed the "workcation", which is a trip that isn't so neatly divided up into working and non-working segments, but allows the traveler to explore during their off hours.

In an article for Wealth of Geeks, Karyn Locke notes that this has also been deemed a "paycation":

Bleisure travel is the idea of working away from a job with a few vacation days added at the beginning or end. As for a paycation, one is at a vacation destination and continues working. With a paycation, you’re not getting actual time off to travel but instead can throw in vacation-style fun for a few hours at a time.

According to a recent survey by Skift and Navan, 68% of business travelers said that they are planning to add personal travel days to a work trip in 2024. The good news for these aspiring bleisure trippers is that, per the same survey, more than half (58%) of managers actively encourage their employees to take some time for themselves. That figure is up significantly from 51% the year prior, which indicates that bleisure travel is likely here to stay.

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Bleisure travel is a boon for hoteliers

We have already looked at ways that hotels can cater to the needs of those combing business and leisure travel (including offering PressReader as an amenity to help them stay up to date with thousands of publications from all over the world); now let's look at what's in it for the hoteliers themselves.

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Catering to bleisure travelers can offer several benefits to hotels:

1. Increased occupancy in off-peak seasons

By attracting bleisure travelers, hotels can fill rooms during weekdays or off-peak seasons when business travel tends to dominate, thereby maximizing occupancy rates and revenue.

Bleisure travelers also tend to have more flexibility in their travel schedules, allowing them to visit destinations during off-peak periods. This helps hotels maintain a more consistent flow of guests throughout the year, even during low seasons.

2. Extended stays

Bleisure travelers often extend their stays to enjoy leisure activities after their business obligations are fulfilled. This leads to longer guest stays, boosting revenue for the hotel.

According to the Global Business Travel Association, an overwhelming majority of business travelers (82%) stay at the same place for both the business and leisure travel portions of their stay. This increases occupancy rates and can lead to higher revenue for hotels and other accommodations.

3. Additional revenue streams

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Hotels can generate additional revenue by offering tailored packages or services for travelers on bleisure trips, such as discounted rates on extended stays, leisure amenities or curated experiences in the local area.

Bleisure travelers are more likely than the strictly business traveler to engage in leisure activities, dine at local restaurants and explore the destination. This results in additional spending on entertainment, dining and other experiences, boosting the local economy.

A bleisure traveler may also be more likely to attend meetings, conferences or events at hotels or convention centers. This increases the chances of booking meeting spaces and generating revenue from these events.

4. Positive guest experience and enhanced loyalty

Offering amenities like flexible check-in/check-out times, complimentary Wi-Fi, coworking spaces or concierge services that cater to both business and leisure needs can enhance the overall guest experience, leading to positive reviews and repeat visits.

A positive customer experience can create loyal guests who may choose the same hotel or accommodation for a future business trip or vacation. This loyalty can lead to repeat bookings and word-of-mouth referrals.

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5. Collaboration opportunities


Hotels can collaborate with local businesses, restaurants, and attractions to offer exclusive deals or packages for bleisure travelers. This creates synergies within the local community and provides guests with unique experiences.

In the Forbes article we cited above, Baldanza suggested that airlines and hotels partner up to tap into the bleisure market:

Even more incentivizing would be for airlines to partner with hotels to make a sweeter offer. This could obviously mean extra hotel nights at aggressive rates, or added rooms for family for certain days. This kind of offer might get some who wouldn’t, on their own, think about adding days for fun into thinking they should. The best offers would be to use the same property as the business portion.

6. Marketing opportunities

Hotels that actively cater to travelers combining business and leisure can differentiate themselves from competitors and appeal to a broader audience. This can be a competitive advantage in the saturated hospitality industry.

Targeted marketing campaigns aimed at bleisure travelers can attract this specific demographic, highlighting the hotel's amenities, proximity to leisure attractions and convenience for business travelers.

By promoting the concept of bleisure, hotels and airlines can offer special packages or incentives for travelers on business trips to extend their stays for leisure. This upselling opportunity can lead to increased revenue for the hospitality business. Wins all around.


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