On a recent flight from New York City, seated between two “road warriors”, I was entertained by stories of leisure, adventure and relaxation while on the road for business travel. One seat-mate talked of her four-days in NYC─ one of which was for business and three were spent wandering the museums, shopping and seeing Andrew Lloyd Webber classics on Broadway. My other new acquaintance mentioned that he had devoted half of his recent trip to company headquarters in Denver to summiting Long’s Peak, thus completing seven of Colorado’s fifty-eight 14ers. Once unthinkable, these days, mixing business with pleasure (bleasure) appears to be the norm. According to a recent survey of Booking.com members, “49% of business travelers already extend their business trips to further enjoy the destination“. And a recent survey of Founder’s Card members showed that 81% of entrepreneurs participate in bleisure trips.
A recent study profiling the American bleisure traveler, conducted by Expedia Media Solutions and Luth Research, concluded that bleisure trips tend to blend 2-3 business nights with an equal or greater number of leisure days making bleisure trips much longer than typical business trips. Making the decision to extend a business trip into bleisure travel is most heavily influenced by three factors: an exciting destination, the costs to extend the trip and how close the trip is to the weekend. What makes for an exciting destination? Study respondents cited sightseeing opportunities and events, beaches, food/restaurants, weather and museums/art scene as the top five attractions when considering bleisure travel. The path to booking is a short one – typically 1 -4 weeks out.
Three key takeaways to attract bleisure travelers are: 1. Prioritize featuring attractions and events on your website and in marketing campaigns 2. With short path to purchase provide a clear call to action 3. Consider strategic OTA partnerships to capture bleisure traveler early during research phase of trip planning.