Company insight

Catering to the bleisure traveller

As a leader in hospitality software for over 40 years, Agilysys discusses catering for the bleisure traveller in the new age of business travel.


s millennials become an increasingly dominant presence in the workforce, business travel is changing. Bleisure travel, or the combination of work with leisure, has been a growing trend for many years, particularly with the younger generations. A 2019 study by Great Hotels of the World found that 75% of travellers extended their business trips for leisure purposes in the past year. Similarly, in a 2018 study, Hilton Hotel & Resorts found that seven out of ten business travellers between the ages of 25–30 wanted to extend their work trips to incorporate leisure activities. Although bleisure travel had been on a steady rise pre-pandemic, the popularisation of work-from-home and the technological innovations fuelled by Covid- 19 have transformed bleisure travel; now more than ever, employees are given the opportunity to blend business and leisure travel. As the pandemic continues to impact hospitality, little is known about the future of travel, but one thing is certain: bleisure travel will become an increasingly key market for the post-pandemic hotelier.

trip prior to travelling, hoteliers must communicate special offers and services as early as possible. With personalised experiences a key factor for bleisure travellers, customising promotional efforts to a bleisure traveller’s needs can incentivise guests to increase their stay length and number of bookings. Examples of targeted promotional efforts include running mid-week promotions, incentivising colleague referrals or inclusive extension perks.

Build a bleisure loyalty programme Creating a loyalty programme exclusive to bleisure travellers can allow hoteliers to meet the unique demands of the bleisure market, an opportunity that existing rewards programmes may not provide. By combining exclusive offers for leisure activity with promotional opportunities that meet a traveller’s business needs, hoteliers can attract new bleisure guests and increase a bleisure traveller’s likelihood of returning. Creating an easy-to-use and accessible bleisure loyalty programme allows

“With many bleisure travellers choosing to extend a business trip prior to travelling, hoteliers must communicate special offers and services as early as possible.”

As operators prepare their properties for the new age of business travel, here are three key factors to attract bleisure guests and enhance their experiences.

Increase promotional opportunities To stand out from competing properties, targeted marketing campaigns are vital for hoteliers to increase bleisure travel bookings. With many bleisure travellers choosing to extend a business

Hotel Management International /

hoteliers to leverage data collected from opted-in guests, further allowing for targeted promotions customised to a guest’s individual interests. With some bleisure guests desiring a family-style vacation and others preferring individual, cultural-rich experiences, the use of guest data allows properties to promote the packages and rewards that may best appeal to each unique guest. Utilising programme tiers can also encourage

return visits and reward frequent or high-spending patrons.

Enhance amenities

While hoteliers must meet basic bleisure needs, such as reliable Wi-Fi services and well-equipped business spaces, it isn’t enough to attract young bleisure travellers; bleisure travellers, and millennial guests as a whole, increasingly value personal service.

Hoteliers are meeting these needs through contactless guest engagement opportunities. Equipping contactless check-in and check-out services, either through mobile services or physical kiosks, can enhance a bleisure traveller’s experience and streamline a property’s operational efficiency. A property can swiftly meet a busy bleisure traveller’s needs by offering mobile or self-service guest ordering systems, further boosting a property’s F&B revenue.

As new technology continues to improve a property’s ability to offer contactless services and further personalise the guest experience, hoteliers can gain insight on the effectiveness of their services through guest data. Industry leading technology providers can provide analytics that a property needs to make more informed, profit-driven decisions and identify opportunities that can help hoteliers improve their bleisure offerings. The increasing importance of bleisure travel presents huge opportunities for hoteliers, particularly in the wake of Covid-19. Although hoteliers are continually adapting to meet the needs of millennial travellers, adapting to the blended nature of leisure and business travellers will be undeniably vital for hoteliers recovering from the pandemic. ● 25

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