The Rise of Bleisure?
Seems like the marketing world adds a trendy new buzzword daily. One such word was captured by Fortune magazine. The "Rise of 'Bleisure' Travel" was one of its top four trends for 2016. "Bleisure" refers to the fact that more and more travelers are mixing business and leisure trips. Gone are the days of marketing to business executives or traveling families. Business men and women are regularly extending their business trips into the weekend and bringing their families and significant others along. "Marketers would do well to recognize how to cater to those who want more 'life' out of work," according to Fortune. How can your hotel blend the lines of marketing to attract both audiences? Consider these tips.
Encourage Extended Stays
More than 50 percent of business travelers aren't alone when they check in and 83 percent say they like to explore the city they are visiting. Seize the opportunity by encouraging them to stay longer, allowing the business traveler to enjoy the region too. Offer incentives for pre-trip or post-trip stays. If your business traveler is part of a group that has a negotiated rate, offer to extend that rate a few days before or after the business event. In fact, tips for travelers from tripcase encourage travelers to switch hotels if their business rate isn't honored before or after the negotiated days. Don't miss an opportunity for additional revenue.
Make it easy for travelers to know their rate is extended. Have a clear message when booking online and be sure your cart calculates correctly. Offer activities they can sign-up for during booking. Make it easy to add customized itineraries, excursions or single events. Don't make guests dig or call you for information. Provide it up front when a corporate group is booked. Go a step further by reaching out to corporate event planners and business travel agents to let them know what you offer. Flexibility is key to an attractive package these professionals will want to recommend to corporate clients.
Develop a Personalized Plan
"Bleisure" marketing is a challenge because it encompasses a variety of demographics. A millennial working mom traveling with young children will be interested in very different activities than a baby boomer traveling with his wife. Gather as much information as possible about your guests in order to personalize their experience. Ask about their interests and cater to those. Talk to local attractions about putting together package deals. For example, the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida offers special rates for business travelers entering the park in the afternoon or evening.
Don't get discouraged if you don't have a major theme park associated with your hotel, though. According to research from 4hoteliers.com, 96 percent of business travelers say they combine leisure activities to gain knowledge about the area and to have a cultural experience. Team up with local museums, galleries, concerts, top restaurants or other attractions unique to your area. Don't forget to promote leisure activities offered by your property. Promote discounts to the spa, restaurant or lounge. Get to know your guests. Provide increased value and make an extended stay attractive.
Achieve Your Potential
"Bleisure" travelers add two to three days on average to their business trips. Think about the revenue potential if just half of a corporate group stayed on at your property for those additional days. The opportunity for growth is exponential, and "bleisure" travel is not a temporary trend. According to 4hoteliers.com, 9 in 10 millennial employees are more than or equally likely to take a "bleisure" trip in the next five years.
Are you ready to reap the rewards of a strategic marketing plan? Attracting business travelers is just the tip of the iceberg. Leverage the power of Worldhotels’ hotel sales & marketing expertise today. We inspire experience creators and tell the world their stories. Contact us to get started.
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