Business travel is no longer just about going to conferences, sales meetings, and unlocking new networks. Corporate travelers increasingly want to extend their trips to experience a destination differently.

Enter bleisure travel, a trend that blurs the lines between work and play to turn business travelers into enthusiastic explorers — and one with the potential to impact your local economy.

The “bleisure blend” is an opportunity for destination marketing organizations (DMOs) to leverage existing business travel and convert it into longer stays — and increased spend.

Ready to showcase your destination’s dual identity?

What is Bleisure Travel?

Besides a fun word mashup of “business” and “leisure”? Bleisure is a travel trend moving billions of dollars through destinations around the world each year. As business travelers seek fresh ways to engage in leisure activities in each new destination their work takes them to, adding days in a destination lets them experience their host city — and helps you reap more benefits from meetings business.

Why is bleisure travel popular for today’s travelers?

  • Cost-effectiveness: Extending a business trip into a personal vacation leverages the company-covered flights and accommodation. Weekends often have cheaper fares than weekdays, so staying over can be a cost-saving strategy for both the employee and the employer.

  • Work-life balance: In the constant search for a balanced life, bleisure travel allows travelers to experience new places and cultures while on a work trip. In fact, 44% of business travelers have turned down a work trip because of a lack of leisure time (Visit Anaheim).

  • Employee satisfaction and talent attraction: Companies that embrace bleisure travel can be seen as more attractive to potential hires and can boost employee morale. Offering travel opportunities, even when combined with work, can be a valuable perk.

  • Remote work flexibility: The rise of remote work arrangements has made it easier for employees to extend their business trips and work remotely from a new location.

Why Care About Blesiure Travel?

Up to 89% of business travelers are increasingly seeking ways to extend trips into vacations, and it’s great news for destinations. Visitors spending more time in your destination leads to:

  • Increased spending: Bleisure travelers aren’t just paying for flights and hotels — they’re also spending on meals, entertainment, and activities that boost your local economy. Estimates show that bleisure spending will reach $731.4 billion by 2032 (Navan).

  • Positive promotion: Bleisure travelers can become advocates for the destination, having a positive leisure experience can lead them to encourage friends, family, and colleagues to visit.

  • Higher occupancy rates: By encouraging business trips to turn into extended stays, you can fill lodging for longer periods, especially during traditionally slower seasons.

  • Attracting a broader demographic: Studies show millennials are more likely to engage in bleisure travel than their peers, with 48% reporting having done so compared to 33% of Gen Xers and 23% of Baby Boomers (Hotel Tech Report). This helps diversify your visit base and serve more interests. And as history’s largest generation, their economic impact is unrivaled.

  • Extra nights: Travelers aren’t just spending one extra night in a destination; more than 87% of bleisure travel trips result in two or more additional nights. 

Tap Into the Trend

So, how can your DMO tap into this lucrative market? Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Highlight bleisure-friendly amenities: Promote hotels with co-working spaces, gyms, and on-site restaurants, and showcase co-working spaces and business centers with flexible hourly rates

  • Bleisure packages and promotions: Partner with local hotels and businesses to offer special bleisure packages that include extended stay discounts, weekend activity add-ons, or access to co-working spaces

  • Craft curated itineraries: Develop downloadable or online itineraries that suggest after-work activities, weekend getaways, and family-friendly outings; consider partnering with local tour operators to offer special bleisure packages

  • Market on the right channels: Target social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to reach business travelers, advertise in industry publications, and attend travel trade shows

  • Business traveler testimonials: Feature video testimonials from satisfied business travelers who extended their stay for leisure activities

  • "Workcations" campaign branding: Embrace the term "workcation" in your marketing materials and highlight the destination's ability to blend work and leisure seamlessly

  • Think beyond the city limits: Highlight nearby day trips or weekend adventures that can be easily squeezed into a business trip schedule

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