Emergence of Bleisure
One of the biggest trend setters to hit the working and business travel market is a trend which has been given the name Bleisure. Blesiure simply means to extend a business trip for leisure. In recent years, up to six out of 10 people have said they’ve extended a business trip for leisure purposes. For example, spending the weekend away after a week full of meetings.
This trend is said to be in response to demanding work schedules and busy lifestyles, where occasionally the line between work and life is blurred (predominately in response to new technology).
Carlson Wagonlit Travel found that between 2011 and 2015, 29 million people took trips for business purposes and one of five employees extended their trip to include either the weekend before or after the trip into their itinerary.
Millennials are believed to be the most predominant generation utilizing this trend, with double the amount of Millennial travelers taking part than any other sector. These figures are also met by an increase in Bleisure travelers and the further from home a person travels. For example, the further a business trip takes an employee, the more likely they are to participate in Bleisure and stay to explore the area upon conclusion of the business trip.
Bleisure can also be a result of another travel trend: individuals striving for authenticity. Many people wish to travel outside of their comfort zone, or immerse themselves completely in a place different from the mainstream. Business trips often allow for this to happen, depending on the nature of the business and location of the job.
Businesses are also jumping on the retreat bandwagon, initiating company trips while setting a meeting or conference location in a resort somewhere around the world. According to GBTA Foundation (Global Business Travel Association), global business travel spending topped more than $1.2 trillion in 2015.
Both business and Blesiure travelers tend to be up to date with technology. They want everything done as easily as possible from mobile check-in to complementary WiFi, digital keys, and creative updates for their trips.
These travelers use brands which embody their lifestyle, and add the extra to go beyond the norm. They don’t just want loyalty points anymore, these aren’t enough for them to choose a specific hotel. They are the travelers who already collect points through credit cards schemes on whatever they spend.
The Social Media Effect
With the ability to instantly publish reviews and images online, it’s the social ripple effect which is most affecting hotels. If a guest has a bad experience in a hotel, it’s possible that social media will know about it even before the hotel reception does. The increase in the use of Snapchat and the introduction of Instastories by Instagram have allowed guests and travelers to share their feelings, concerns and appreciations instantly.
Many travelers use trips to generate likes and shares in their social media accounts. These travelers demand personalization, traveler specials, and unique additions are much appreciated. These things also encourage travelers and business people to maintain brand loyalty.