Understanding the “bleisure” traveller

April 04, 2017

Andey Speight

So, what is a “Bleisure” traveller you ask? It’s quite simple, a bleisure traveller is what you get when a traveller mixes his or her business trip with leisure time. But the questions you really need to be asking are: what factors influence someone’s decision to turn a business trip into bleisure? What activities or destinations are most likely to entice them and how can you leverage this information to adjust your marketing strategies accordingly?

Research from Expedia shows that today, 43% of business trips are bleisure, with young travellers between the ages of 20 – 25 most likely to include leisure as part of their business travel. Popular destinations for such trips include Las Vegas, Nice and Barcelona.

Longer business trips are more likely to turn into a bleisure trip, with trips continuing over 3 days 30% more likely to include leisure related activities. Findings also reveal that 60% of travellers tend to book bleisure trips to make up for a lack of vacations throughout the year and 54% tend to plan their business trip around the leisure activities they intend on doing.

If you’re going to be targeting the bleisure traveller, you need to know what type of experiences they’re after. The founder of Maiden Voyage, Carolyn Pearson, provides her own thoughts on the matter, suggesting that bleisure travellers would probably want to select the right part of a country’s city before booking, as this will ensure they get the most out of their stay.

David Chapple, event director of the business travel show, suggests that the best way to enjoy a bleisure trip is through staying at serviced apartments, highlighting that these kinds of accommodation are normally located in residential areas, making them perfect for experiencing a location like a local, and potentially, more cost effectively. He also adds that travellers should check their loyalty points to see if they can bring a friend.

But before you start attempting to target potential bleisure travellers, it’s probably a good idea to learn a bit more about how they search and plan their travel.

The key influencers for bleisure travellers?

There are numerous factors which play into the decision-making process for bleisure travellers, these include destination, cost and even how close a trip might be to the weekend.

Research conducted by Expedia shows that 66% of business travellers are influenced by destination, with many travellers likely to book a location based on its potential for great sightseeing experiences above anything else. That’s not the only upsell opportunity on offer, though, as travellers also bring into consideration beaches, food, restaurants, weather, museums and more.

The destination was followed closely by the additional costs which might be included, with findings indicating that 59% of business travellers also take the cost of a trip into consideration before booking.

But what about those wanting to sell attractions? Well, you’re covered too. Events across all categories are more than just appealing for business travellers planning to include leisure to their trip. 33% of business travellers state that they would consider a number of events when deciding on a destination, including music concerts, sporting events and cultural festivals.

The research process

You need to take into account the research process if you want to fully understand the bleisure traveller. Findings from Expedia show that 37% to 41% of most business travellers planning a bleisure trip will do a fair amount of research before booking.

The findings showed that hotels and restaurants are usually researched first, followed by optimum sightseeing locations as well as airfare and travel reservations. When researching, most bleisure travellers will rely on a variety of go-to websites, including additional research carried out via numerous search engines.

Channels and devices used

Research showed bleisure travellers will visit a wide range of websites prior to booking their travel, with OTAs being the popular choice, followed by event sites and then travel media info. It has also been found that of all bleisure travellers who visit an OTA site, over 50% will visit more than one before making a booking decision.

By device, bleisure travellers will mainly visit events and deals sites via PC, OTA sites via mobile and smartphone devices and events/deals and travel media/info sites via tablet. It may also be important to remember that, for bleisure travellers, Mondays are normally the most popular day for searches, with regular work hours being the peak time for such activity.

Talk to the experts

If you want to capture this year’s biggest bleisure travellers, why not get in touch with our expert team and provide them with the best booking experience on the market. With our highly-connected platform, you can offer your travel customers over 15,000 of the world’s best bookable attractions, meaning they’ll continue to book with you for the long haul.