There’s a new hybrid type of travel that’s gaining popularity amongst businessmen and women. It’s called “bleisure” travel, a mix of business and leisure, two starkly separate categories, combined in one trip. Where did this new travel trend come from and how does it affect travel agents? We’ve got some answers to those questions:
The lines between work and life have become more and more blurred in a world where we receive our business emails on our personal cell phones and have a second office set up in our homes. Combine that with the declining use of vacation time, and those lines between work and personal life almost vanish for some.
The rise of bleisure travel is one response of employers and employees to this new balancing act of work-life. Many modern companies have been making their offices more fun, with game rooms, lounges, video games and movies and more, in attempts to connect with the younger generations entering the workforce. Bleisure travel is a way to make business travel a win-win for companies and their workers.
Travel agents, especially those who specialize in business travel, may begin to see more and more clients coming in to book a bleisure vacation. Here are some tips for travel agents who want to branch out into the world of business and leisure trips for their clients:
Offer information about tourist and family activities in their business travel destination. Are there any events, festivals or concerts occurring around the time of the trip? Let your client know about these options. They may decide they want to extend their traveling dates and bring along their spouse or family and turn that work trip into a mini vacation.
Not all business travelers are potential bleisure travelers. While the majority of business travelers are men, bleisure travel is more evenly split between the genders, with businesswomen slightly more likely to turn their trip into bleisure travel. Additionally, younger professionals show more interest in the bleisure trend. Millenials are most likely to extend a business trip in order to relax and enjoy the destination.
Business travelers that go on frequent trips for work are not as likely to book bleisure travel. Instead, travel agents should target professionals who travel once or twice a month or once every two or three months. Trips that have long travel times and travel to never before visited cities and destinations are more likely to be good opportunities for bleisure travel.
Bleisure travel will likely to continue to increase in popularity as the corporate and travel industries continue to evolve with new technology and cultural values. Is it a big enough niche for a travel agent to specialize? Maybe not yet, but every travel agent should be ready to recognize and promote opportunities bleisure travel to their clients.
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