Bleisure – Combining Business with Leisure

Frequent business travellers will generally all agree that the average business trip is no fun. Business travel has little, if anything, in common with the typical holiday and, more often than not, business trips leave the traveller feeling exhausted and stressed out. Most corporate folk who regularly travel for work end up not even using all of their vacation days. There is, however, a solution to this predicament: Bleisure travel.

Bleisure Travel

Bleisure Travel (Image from: healthytravelblog.com)

This buzzword was created from the words “business” and “leisure” and refers to a business traveller who fits in some leisure time during a business trip. This is hardly a new thing, but it has only recently become newsworthy. In fact, for long there has been a segment of business travellers who have had the monetary means, as well as the professional flexibility, to include a few extra leisure days in their scheduled business trips. According to Visa’s 2015 Global Travel Intentions Study, 16% of travellers combined leisure with business on their most recent trip. Whether this is a current trend or whether it has been taking place for quite some time, it definitely highlights the integration of people’s professional and personal lives in the modern world.

Still, why mix business with leisure?

Bleisure travellers believe that planning leisure around business is a very effective way to go about it when it comes to time and money spent on tickets, visas and other travel expenses. Taking a short holiday before the business trip commences helps employees to acclimatize before entering a foreign work environment, plus it gives them a unique understanding of the city and culture in which their business meetings will take place. Most bosses understand, and even appreciate, this sort of time and resource optimisation. Some employers even believe that the additional travel time motivates their employees to perform better; especially when it goes hand in hand with a “digital detox” (a day or two with no access or connectivity to any electronic communication devices). These few extra days, taken at the employee’s expense, can be used to recharge and come back re-energized – ready to tackle the next business project or deal. Bleisure travellers tend to be more content and everybody knows a happy employee is more productive. Bleisure travel, therefore, not only increases job satisfaction, but it also nurtures loyalty towards the company.

Why should the travel, tourism and hospitality sector care? Because bleisure travellers tend to spend more money per trip than their strictly-business counterparts. Since the company normally covers the travel costs, travellers now have more spending money for their trip and they generally strive to make the visit worth their while. This provides a very interesting opportunity for hotels, guesthouses and even self-catering destinations to retain travellers once they have completed the business segment of their trip. Travellers could be motivated to prolong their stay through post-stay leisure packages or exclusive discounts for people coming to a specific conference. The aim is to encourage them to linger a little longer. Perhaps they could even fly their families or partners in and turn the primarily business trip into a well-deserved family holiday or romantic breakaway.

A captive audience is an opportunity not to be missed, which is why the travel, tourism and hospitality sector should tap into this fast growing bleisure travel market.

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Business or pleasure?

Is your establishment’s target market mainly guests who visit on business or pleasure?

As a hospitality and tourism industry expert, you probably don’t need me to explain to you why it is necessary to know your target market. The problem is, we get so used to our target markets, that we sometimes forget that they are also people, and people change.

As our environment, whether it be our technological or our physical environment, undergoes certain evolvements, we tend to change with it eventually. Therefore, as an accommodation establishment, restaurant or venue, it is important to keep up with trends in the industry.

Here are three trends TMG noticed feature in certain sections of the hospitality and tourism industry that you as a professional in the industry probably need to consider:

Environmental Responsibility:

This is not only a trend, but also a necessity. It has come to TMG’s attention that many travellers prefer accommodation at establishments that prove to be environmentally responsible. Guests are even willing to give up certain levels of comfort for this.

Kids entertainment:

Guests travelling for pleasure normally include families. Families often require some entertainment for children, which includes jungle gyms, swimming pools, and possible movie nights for when parents want to enjoy a romantic dinner. It is also important to remember that parents are well educated on this subject and therefore your establishment is automatically expected to provide them with service that will exceed their customer expectations. Think educational and try to include outside activities for kids. Take them on treasure hunts or short kids’ hiking trails. Use your environment and be creative.

Wi-Fi:

Businessmen are often on the road and with the fortunate evolvement of cell phones, computers and emails, many people unfortunately do the work of three or more by themselves these days. Wi-Fi has always been a luxury and not too long ago only top hotels and restaurants provided the service. Today, however, more and more hospitality and tourism establishments are adding this to their list of services and these establishments are the ones who become popular amongst business travellers especially very quickly. If business guests form part of your establishment’s target market and you do not provide your guests with Wi-Fi, you will need to revise your list of services.

For more tips and ideas on how to exceed your customers’ expectations, perhaps you should contact TMG and attend one of our workshops? Contact Renate on 082 336 1562 or enquire@travellingmystery.co.za for more information.

How much to spend on tourism marketing

Source: thesewingdirectory.co.uk via Travelling Mystery Guest on Pinterest

Is how much to spend on tourism marketing not a question to which all of us would like a clear answer? This company says 20%. Other businesses state that they use a mere 2.5% to 3.5% of their revenue for marketing and sales. So what is the right way to go for marketing your tourism or hospitality establishment?

Well, this all depends on WHO YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE. Have you done the demographics? If not – you’d better take a step back.

Are your customers young people who enjoy the outdoors? Or are they focused and business orientated? Do they have children or are they the typical students who randomly decide to take a road trip to the South?

It’s not about how much to spend on marketing, but rather what you spend your marketing budget on. There’s no use in spending thousands on a billboard next to the N1 in Jo’burg if your target market are students who save money by driving seven people in a five seater and packing only one set of clothes for a week. Nor would there be any use in spending any money on new travel accessories for children (because, it’s so cute!) if your customers are young, single business men.

Your demographics, which include your customers’ ages, genders, income, geographical area, and so forth, will directly have an influence on your marketing budget and aims.

In today’s market, where we try to save as much as possible, the Web comes in handy quite often. Unfortunately, many companies see that as the easy way out and only market their product or service via e-mail. Remember: Not all your customers (depending on your target market) browse the internet all day. Even in one demographical segment there would be differences between people. No person is the same as the next. Being able to build a customer service relationship with each of your customers, you need to define each person’s personal customer needs and expectations and market your product or service accordingly.

Is your biggest target market young people? Find out what music they like, what radio stations they listen to, what books they read, what are their favorite hanging out places and what are their hobbies? Find a way into that market and pay that little extra to convince another customer to buy your service.

There’s no use in paying for marketing that doesn’t pay.

Have Travelling Mystery Guest visit your tourism or hospitality establishment and help you figure out who your target market is and what you can do to increase their customer satisfaction. Contact TMG on 079 1105674 or travellingmysteryguest@gmail.com.