Bleisure – an opportunity for the local travel market to reach business travelers
Bleisure or how to combine a business trip with private sightseeing? New mega-trend in tourism? What and how much a company implementing bleisure can gain?
The new key word in the area of business travel is Bleisure. The confluence of the words business and leisure, i.e. business duty and leisure – points to a new niche that is attracting more and more interest. As a number of studies indicate, during business trips up to 2/3 of employees privately visit the place to which they are posted. Many declare the desire for such a combination of business and private travel in the future.
A systemic definition of the framework within which they can tie a strictly business trip with private sightseeing seems a very tempting challenge. Can be a very important benefit further binding employees to the company, also legitimizes what today is a kind of gray area.
Bleisure – how to formally demarcate business and private travel
The challenge is undoubtedly the formal separation of business and private travel, as this has implications for benefits , delegation settlement and even potentially insurance and liability in emergency situations. And here again, the closest solution seems to be self-booking platforms. Hotailors declares on its website its support for the formal separation of the business trip and further private stay.
Bleisure – benefits for the company
Every business traveler has more than once encountered the temptation to extend a business trip especially when it comes to trips to exotic parts of the world. Formal acquiescence to such an activity certainly has a positive effect on employee morale and loyalty. Market researchers highlight these advantages of bleisure especially in the context of the millenial generation.
In addition to soft benefits, we can also gain tangible benefits. For example, airline tickets for business trips are usually significantly more expensive than those where the duration of stay at the destination is extended. Return flights on Saturdays and Sundays can be up to 30-40% cheaper than those with return hours of 4-8pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Incorporating an incentive to extend travel into a company's travel policy can thus yield significant monetary benefits.
Bleisure – which market segments are easiest to implement quickly
It seems that the easiest element/product to start with would be the culinary offerings and a private tour of the city. They can be an interesting addition to a business trip and an element of relaxation after a day of exhausting business meetings. Promoting culinary novelties or new urban attractions is also indeed to the advantage of urban/provincial tourist destinations. Hoteliers also have a lot to gain, especially in the case of business hotels, as extending a stay for a weekend can bring additional revenue.
Suggestions for evening options could be added to booking confirmations. Especially those generated by self-booking platforms.
An interesting idea that fulfills the bleisure concept to some extent, is the idea of a Touriosity startup. This is because it was established to support small/local tour operators offering largely local/short products. Something that just fits perfectly with the idea of bleisure.
Bleisure – LOT and Intercity could incorporate Bleisure into their domestic offerings(for starters)
Domestic traffic is a very significant volume of business travel, probably numbering in the hundreds of thousands of trips per month. Passengers using national carriers are quite easy to track. They, too, could get additional information about tourist services in the place they are heading to. Potentially, both LOT and Intercity would generate additional revenue from tourism, e.g. In partnership with a platform similar to the aforementioned Touriosity.
Bleisure – blogs of traveling businessmen prove the logic of bleisure offerings
Although blogging on travel topics among business travelers is not common. That said, even in Poland we can find interesting examples, e.g. thetravelingeconomist blog.com. It seems to clearly indicate that business travelers want to take advantage of the opportunity to visit the place to which they have been sent by the company.
Bleisure – tear down formal barriers, packaged product may not be necessary
It seems that the most important thing in promoting the bleisure trend is the above-mentioned definition of rules and simplification of formalities. A clear message to employees and even a suggestion to extend stays with returns resulting in lower ticket prices will generate a mutual benefit. It is key to promoting the idea of bleisure.
Specific packaged travel product may be of secondary value. Employees will decide for themselves how they want to spend their time, however, the mentioned soft suggestions could be welcome. Mainly from enology, culinary, special events (concerts)or city sightseeing. Such conclusions can also be drawn by analyzing the failure of Wizzair Tours or Ryan Air vacations tourism projects. Customers were not too eager to buy vacation services to the airlines' flights. They preferred to plan them separately on their own terms.
It seems that formal acceptance of bleisure options as part of business travel policy has an interesting future. Let's see if tourist resorts manage to support this trend – by cooperating with business travel agents and transportation companies. Undoubtedly, the business traveler is a very interesting marketing target for tourist organizations.