Who is the bleisure traveller and what does a bleisure trip look like? And how can you cash in on this lucrative sale?
A new US Expedia study, along with Luth Research, has shed light on the previously untapped bleisure market – business travellers who extend their business trips to leisure.
Based on the survey, bleisure travellers are mostly in the technology industry, mostly go on business trips every two to three months (38%) and stay about two nights (42%).
But the big figure is that 43% of these business trips extend into a bit of side leisure.
A profile of the American bleisure traveller looks a bit like this:
Your average business trip is predominantly just two nights, while the blended trips last around four to six-plus days.
On top of that, the research showed a longer business trip can actually make a bleisure trip more likely, with business travellers 18% more likely to plan a leisure trip off the back of a business trip if the latter lasted more than three days.
66% of respondents said they tend to spend more money on leisure activities because of the money saved on travel, while 60% said they take bleisure trips because they don’t take a lot of regular vacations, and a further 54% said they plan their business trips around the leisure activities they intend on doing.
Most bleisure trips are spent in the same city/area. Those who spend at least three days for business are more likely to travel to other cities.
When it comes to accommodation, staying in the same hotel is preferable for 84%.
So what inspires bleisure trips in the first place? And how can you play a part in suggesting this travel extension?
66% say it’s travelling to an exotic destination that makes them want to stay longer, while 51% will decide depending on how close the business trip is to the weekend.
Major events across categories are big draws for adding leisure time to a business trip too.
33% of respondents indicated “whether there is an event going on in that area (a convention, concert, show, etc.)” as a big factor for adding leisure time to a business trip.
And the path to purchase for bleisure travellers, per the research, is all booked up between one and four weeks. Most people with a bleisure trip coming up skip right past the “Dreaming” and “Actively Researching” phases into the “Near Booking” phase.
Hotels/accommodations are most often researched first, but sightseeing locations, and food and restaurants in the area also looked into.
41% of bleisure travellers looked at booking their trip through an OTA, with 51% of this group looking at two or more sites. Most visit several websites, and with Event (47%) and OTA (41%) sites leading the categories.
Travel sites are visited most often on Mondays on all devices, with visitation trailing throughout the rest of the week.
Key tips for agents:
- Prioritise featuring attractions and events in marketing campaigns
- With a short path to purchase, provide clear calls to action
- Have destination-specific info on hand for business clients, especially if their trip falls near a weekend
- Know what events will be on in the business trip destination to offer more reason for your client to stay on
- Bleisure travellers are interested in attractions, restaurants, sporting and cultural events, guided tours and transfers – remind them of the benefits of booking it all with one travel agent over several individual purchases through an OTA