"Bleisure", the blurring of business and leisure, is one of the hottest new trends in American travel and many hoteliers are hopping onboard with targeted marketing programs to encourage business travelers to expand their business trip into a full on personal vacation.
According to a 2013 survey by Pullman Hotels and Resorts, this "blurring" of the professional and personal lives of seasoned travelers is mostly thanks to electronic devices like smart phones, tablets, and readily available wifi. 85% of travelers say that having a mobile device has changed the way they organize their professional and private lives, generally with a positive impact.
Though seasoned travelers easily recognize the negative effects of increased blurring between their private and professional lives, 82% of them also believe that having a mobile professional device allows them to work more freely and improves the way they manage their various responsibilities. Professional devices allow them to work more efficiently (83% agree) and more productively (82% agree). "Blurring" is even considered a career accelerator by 32% of the survey population. 61% of travelers say they take at least one professional device on vacation or on weekend trips, and 43% of travelers say they always take them.
For examples of how different participants in the travel industry are targeting this "bleisure" demographic, one need not look any further than Las Vegas, NV. Las Vegas hosts over 22,000 business conferences and conventions every year, making it a common destination for business travelers.
MGM Resorts International recently announced its #DigitalDetox campaign for those who want to get away from it all. For example, guests who book one of the Villas at the Mirage can enjoy their own private backyard barbecue complete with a personal butler, a pool, a spa, a putting green, a lounge and bar area.
The Spa at ARIA actually prohibits electronic devices to allow guests to truly unwind.
The secluded, adults-only Cypress Pool at Bellagio makes for quite the #DigitalDetox experience as you lounge on a daybed or chaise lounge chair below Evian misters while drinking non-alcoholic smoothie shots.
One of the most common ways to extract leisure revenue from business travelers is to offer the group rate for their block booking up to three days before and after the conference or convention. This encourages them to bring their loved ones and make a family trip out of it.
A survey conducted in 2010 by the Meredith Corporation, the publisher of Family Circle magazine, found that of readers who travel for work, 77% took along a family member or significant other on their last business trip, and 47% do so the majority of the time. In addition, 64% of readers added one or more extra days to their last trip.