For the uninitiated, ‘bleisure’ refers to the amalgamation of the word ‘business’ and ‘travel’. The concept: a way of slotting in some leisure time during a work trip, by way of extending the trip or planning relaxing activities out of office hours (see our digital nomad’s itinerary in Thailand here).
In recent years, the bleisure industry is growing thanks to several factors. For one, the average price of air tickets have reduced significantly over at least the past five years. Which also means it becomes more affordable to bring a companion to spend a couple of extra days with you during the trip!
Secondly, have you heard of the ‘Saturday-night stay’ rule? This is how airlines differentiate flyers who are travelling for business and travel; with the assumption that business travellers will opt to travel back on Saturday night, but not for vacation-goers. And if they stay through Saturday, the company saves cost in the form of cheaper tickets! An ideal win-win situation, right?
In light of the increasing trend to do so, we talk to Brendan Daly, general manager of the fairly new YOTEL Singapore about all things travel-related, how bleisure is affecting the travel industry in Asia and more.
What is bleisure
“Bleisure is about including some personal time on a business trip. It typically involves mixing work trips with elements of leisure, often by adding on a few extra days on top of a work trip. This allows employees to integrate a little bit of personal time into their business travels, which creates a balance between work and life.”
Easy ways to meet the growing demand
“Make the process simple for the guest. For instance, we provide guests with a small map of the area, which helps them navigate around key places in Orchard Road better.”
On cheaper hotel rates
“Since the hotel’s launch last year, we’ve established close working relationships with corporate companies, allowing us to offer corporate rates for corporate bookings. Some of the corporate bookers are bleisure travellers by nature, and will be able to take advantage of this opportunity to extend their stay.”
Challenges and opportunities in Asia
“Targeting bleisure travellers can be a challenge because it encompasses a wide range of demographics. Millennial start-ups and digital natives would be very interested in different activities as compared to a baby boomer travelling with his wife.”
Research has shown that 56 per cent of business travellers are more inclined to consider a bleisure trip to destinations which offers sightseeing opportunities and good food.
“This poses an opportunity for hoteliers to focus on the importance of experiences, and attract travellers from around the world. Usually, one way is to promote key offerings that are easily accessible from the hotel’s location.”
Adapting to the spirit of bleisure
“Consider booking a stay at your hotel not only for the business portion of their trip, but also the leisure part. For instance, (look out) for discounts that could be given for bookings that overlap with the weekend, or a slight discount for stays over five nights.”
“Also, hotels can go the extra mile to help bleisure travellers de-stress.”
Reports said that 93% of business travellers feel stressed at some point of their trip.
“We have (also) partnered with Mindfresh, a company which advocates thoughtful meditation, to create a video series showcasing how one can easily relax and unwind while being away from home.”
Favourite destination for a bleisure trip
“London. I managed to squeeze in some sightseeing, and visit the Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and the Imperial War Museum.”
Get your tickets to the Buckingham Palace here.
How to optimise a bleisure trip
“Reduce the amount of traveling needed. Choose a hotel that can cater to both the business and leisure aspect of the trip. (We are) located in the heart of Singapore, a short distance away from the Central Business District of Singapore, as well as Orchard Road, Asia’s most famous shopping street.”
Predicting the future of the industry
“(In five to 10 years), I believe employers will increasingly come to acknowledge the benefits of bleisure travels, and will encourage employees to incorporate a leisure element into their business trips!”
A recent report showed that 78% of respondents look forward to their work assignments more when there is a leisure component incorporated into their business trip itinerary.
“With ticket prices becoming increasingly affordable, travellers would also be more inclined to extend their stay or visit various cities.”
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