The ability to add leisure to a work trip - bleisure - has traditionally been an important growth opportunity in hospitality. The pandemic, however, has transformed bleisure dramatically. While business trips in the classic sense are still below pre-pandemic levels, corporate working policies have become more flexible while the individual interest in traveling remains. New technologies are enabling new possibilities to blur the lines of business and leisure, and hospitality players are adapting.
This report comes in PPT.
While bleisure has always been an important growth opportunity in travel, it has taken on a whole new meaning in the wake of the pandemic, generating excitement and possibilities for hospitality operators. While travel broadly remains hampered by ongoing economic challenges, there is a strong impulse from consumers, where possible, to combine leisure and work to make travel more affordable and accessible. With fewer classic business trips moving forward, consumers are leveraging technology and flexible working options to create those opportunities for themselves.
Many hospitality players added bleisure offerings during the pandemic as a substitute for the loss of business travel revenues. While hotels and travel intermediaries will continue to offer these features, short-term rental companies have gone further than other hospitality providers and made bleisure travel a core feature of their business model. Looking ahead, these companies will be indicators for the performance of the bleisure travel sector.
Unable to rely on business travel, hospitality providers have had to expand their target audience. Hotels are updating their foodservice operations to better address the needs of digital nomads and other remote workers. This is helping to create a more holistic view of hospitality, where hotels can serve their entire community instead of just travellers.
The success of a bleisure destination will rely not just on attractiveness of the destination itself and the efforts of its hospitality industry, but also infrastructure such as reliable broadband. Government support is needed to make destinations more attractive and attainable for bleisure consumers through, for example, flexible visa arrangements. In order to succeed as a bleisure destination, accessibility and functionality are crucial.
Simplicity and frictionless travel experiences are important for bleisure travellers who look towards innovative and integrated booking services and platforms to arrange bleisure opportunities. Personalised digital profiles, disruption-predicting technologies alongside real-time tools are not only driving efficiencies but reinforcing customer engagement and hassle-free travel.
Bleisure as an opportunity extends far beyond the traditional confines of hospitality. Bleisure seekers are high-value consumers for in-destination businesses. These consumers tend to stay in one place for longer periods of time, and may bring friends and family members along. Consumers are effectively transplanting their lives into a destination and need access to the same goods and services they typically need at home, on top of all the primary leisure spending opportunities.
Travel encompasses several categories including tourism flows, lodging, travel modes, in-destination spending and booking.See All of Our Definitions
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