According to Hotwire’s 2014 American Travel Behavior Survey, 49 percent of Americans who travel for business tack leisure time onto a work trip.
This new breed of “bleisure traveler” wants more than free Wi-Fi and meeting spaces during their hotel stay. They want to see local attractions, catch a live show, or head out to a fancy restaurant.
But an article by Skift suggests that hotels and resorts aren’t doing enough to market a complete package to the bleisure traveler. Instead, customers are having to do the legwork, essentially left to find leisure activities themselves.
Given the predicted growth of business travel in coming years, hotels could be missing out on a huge chunk of additional revenue.
So, how can properties better promote both leisure and business facilities to this important demographic?
Attractive “bizcation” packages
A number of hotels have created specific packages aimed at showcasing their leisure facilities to business travelers.
Orchard Hotel in Singapore advertised a “Bleisure Experience,” which markets amenities including their pool and jacuzzi, as well as their private Club Lounge, an exclusive area offering gourmet breakfasts, teas and evening cocktails.
Meanwhile, Hotel G in San Francisco has promoted a package that helps business travelers make the most of their time in the city.
Guests receive a day pass to a coworking space, a Westfield Mall shopping passport, a Muni public transporation pass, and drink vouchers that can be spent at one of two separate establishments outside the hotel.
This service is likely to be hugely valued by business travelers. According to The Bleisure Report by BridgeStreet Global Hospitality, a huge 83% of business travelers will explore a city during their trip.
Marketing to meeting attendees
An increasing number of hotels have also begun marketing to meeting and convention attendees, promoting a range of leisure-based incentives and discounts.
Several chains are incentivizing pre-stays and post-stays by offering group rates three days before and after an event. In the case of Destination Hotels, employees are actively encouraged to promote the same negotiated rate to business travelers for extended stays.
Certain hotels are also exploiting the fact that a large section of business travelers aren’t checking-in alone—more than 50% bring family members or a significant other with them.
Universal Orlando Resort in Florida is doing a great job of marketing to this demographic, offering a range of family-friendly extras, such as afternoon discounts at Universal Studios, and early admission to their Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction.
Of course, not all properties can lay claim to such major family attractions. But there are plenty of other incentives that could be marketed, from providing discounts on popular city attractions, and booking sightseeing tours, to creating travel itineraries to help families plan their leisure time during a trip.
A personalized approach
Of course, hotels could go further still by personalizing leisure options to business travelers during pre-arrival communication.
Acquiring detailed guest information before a stay would mean specific interests could be catered for.
Based on this information, a hotel might offer to reserve concert tickets for a music fan, or book a table at a top restaurant for a food lover. If a guest expressed a desire to relax between meetings, discounts on spa or massage treatments might be more appealing.
By gaining an in-depth understanding of guests, marketing leisure facilities and providing ways to enjoy time in a destination, hotels stand a greater chance of attracting business travelers looking to enjoy free time beyond their hours of work.