Bleisure travel has seen a huge increase in the past two years. According to Expedia’s recent report titled Unpacking Bleisure Traveller Trends, there’s been nearly a 40% rise in bleisure trips since 2016.
On average, 60% of business travelers are adding leisure days to their trips, and most bleisure travelers say that they take a business trip at least every 2-3 months.
For hotels, this trend reveals a major opportunity to capture additional revenue from this booming segment of the marketplace. In the following post, we’ll dive into some of the key takeaways from the Expedia report, and discuss how hotels can attract this valuable audience to book and extend their trips.
High number of international bleisure travelers
In the US, only 12% of US bleisure trips are taken overseas. However, people in other countries seem far more willing to travel internationally. Among the four other countries surveyed, overseas bleisure trips are most common in India (38%), followed by the UK and Germany (36%), and China (23%).
As a result, hotels need to think beyond their own borders when considering their addressable markets.
Business travelers heading further for leisure
Despite the fact that two-thirds of previous bleisure trips happen in the same city as business trips, over 80% of this demographic are willing to travel from the work destination for leisure.
How far specifically? Over 50% are prepared to drive 1-2 hours for the leisure portion of their trips. And more than 30% say that they will travel the same distance by plane. Considering that business travelers have the desire to explore beyond their immediate destinations, hotels should look beyond their own locality when considering which sights and attractions to market.
Entertainment and activities are a big reason to extend
What motivates leisure travelers to extend their trips? In Expedia’s study, nearly half (48%) said that they are mainly motivated to enjoy great entertainment and activities. Ticking off bucket list items and exploring a must-visit location came next (43%), followed by being able to easily navigate a city (37%).
When asked what types of destinations convinced them to extend to bleisure, 56% of business travelers said that the biggest factor was the choice of food and restaurants. Beaches, natural sightseeing locations, weather, and historical monuments/sightseeing followed closely behind at around 50%.
Bleisure travelers don’t spend long researching trips
Business travelers are often short on time and don’t have the luxury of spending months researching a destination. According to Expedia’s study, 44% of business travelers spend just 1-2 hours of research before deciding whether to tack a leisure component on to their trip. And a further 35% spend between 3-5 hours.