Here at Guesty we’re often advising you to tailor your services to the specific kind of guest you’re expecting. There are many types of travelers, but they can generally be split into two main groups – those traveling for business and those traveling for leisure.
Increasingly, however, the line between those two categories is blurring as the industry makes room for a new and unique brand of traveler – the ‘bleisure’ traveler.
What Is Bleisure?
Bleisure refers to the blending of business and leisure travel and is a rapidly growing phenomenon in the business tripping world. In fact, more than half of business trips taken in the last year qualify as bleisure.
Notable Bleisure Trends
Not surprisingly, the bulk of the passengers aboard the bleisure train are millennials, who see turning short business trips into mini-vacations as a way to quench their thirst for adventure without breaking their budgets.
They are also likely solo travelers, with only 36% having family or friends to visit at their business destinations.
The technology sector is home to the greatest concentration of bleisure travelers, most of whom embark on two to three night business trips around six times a year.
Where are they bleisuring?
According to data collected by Expedia Media Solutions, the typical bleisure trip takes place in a destination far from the traveler’s home.
Business trips are most likely to include a bit of leisure when they occur in exciting locations that offer a lot of attractions and are easy to navigate. Respondents described the ideal bleisure backdrop as a city with great food, beaches, sightseeing opportunities, good weather, historical significance, museums, art and culture.
That said, the most popular bleisure destinations are much the same as the most popular travel destinations in general, with cities like New York, London, Paris and Tokyo topping the list.
If you find that the locations of your rentals meet the criteria for inviting bleisure travel, it’s time to read up on how to make the most of this rising trend.
Luckily for you, Guesty’s got the lowdown.
Tapping Into the Bleisure Market
There are times to leave perspective clients wanting more and there are times to lay it all out on the table. When it comes to attracting bleisure travelers, you’ll need to do the latter.
The research shows that people don’t spend nearly as much time planning their bleisure trips as they do vacations purely for leisure. In fact, the typical bleisure traveler spends an average of only one to two hours planning the non-business aspects of their journeys.
So if you want to grab them, you have to make sure that a brief glance at your listing profile is all they need to confirm your rental can meet both their business and leisure needs.
“Quiet neighborhood, 5 minute drive from town center,” is a great example of a description that demonstrates that your property is a place where one could get work done, but also go out and explore.
Since conferences are the number one purpose for business trips (accounting for 67% of them), you should put in the effort to stay up-to-date on any conferences occurring near your rentals. You can then incorporate the name of the conference or the city that’s hosting it into your listing title to draw in any travelers searching specifically for accommodations nearby.
Since bleisure travelers don’t invest a great deal of time in planning their itineraries, you might be able to step in and help them make the most of their stay. Build partnerships with vendors around your rentals, such as restaurants, spas, car services and tour guides, and recommend their services to guests who may not have all their days filled in.
Accommodate diverse needs
Generally we suggest knowing your guest’s purpose of travel prior to their arrival so you can cater the experience to them. The bleisure trend makes it a little more difficult to determine what business travelers might expect, since some are still strictly business, while others want some excitement on the side.
Find out in your pre-stay correspondence what the purpose of their travel is and if it’s business, ask if they would they also be interested in enjoying some local experiences in their spare time.
Offer all the amenities you would to business travelers, like reliable WiFi and comfortable working spaces, but don’t refrain from adding some fun to the mix in the form of a list of “must-sees” and some travel guides.
Capitalize and collect
If you see that your guest fits the description of a likely bleisure candidate, aka a millennial traveling for a business conference, then pitch the idea of extending their stay, either before or during their visit.
Let guests know that other business travelers have chosen to remain at your rentals for an extra night to enjoy the many attractions and activities nearby. You can even offer an extra night at a discount exclusive to business travelers if you feel it will benefit your business.
As business travelers often return to the same destinations on subsequent trips, you should take measures to encourage your guests to stay with you the next time they’re in town on business. Ask them what they’d still like to see and enjoy locally and promise to help arrange it on their next visit.
And, of course, save their contact information so you can reach out to them when a big conference is coming to your area that might pertain to their business, or when any exciting local events are coming up on the calendar.
Stay Ahead of the Game
Smart short-term property managers know that the job entails a whole lot more than waiting around for guests to decide to vacation at their rentals. If you want to be truly successful and optimize your revenue, you have to stay on top of growing industry trends so you’ll be one step ahead of the game and ready to ride each wave to new business heights.
Now that you’ve done your due diligence and learned about bleisure travel, you can make sure that when business meets leisure, it’ll be at your rentals.