By Larry Mogelonsky, MBA, P. Eng. (www.hotelmogel.com)
For those of you who are not familiar with this term ‘bleisure’, it denotes a business trip that is extended either before or after the business component with a few days of leisure. Or it can be the other way around where those who have the ability to work remotely – often part of the new ‘digital nomads’ classification – do just that and spend some time on the clock while technically being off the clock.
Rest assured that with the rise of internet-based forms of business communication and outsourced productivity, hybrid travel like this will continue to grow. Chances are you’re already experiencing some bleisure stays by now, even though you may not be aware of this new segment’s potential for revenues. The following are five activities you can take that will help in the early stages for this emerging market.
Identify the Opportunity to Your Entire Team
Encourage your revenue management and sales teams to work together on pricing programs that entice business travelers to add leisure to a corporate room block or meeting. This could mean extending the preferred rates and perquisites to the leisure portion as well as other incentives such as free breakfast.
Groups often come in at a lower rate than transient guests. Look into what sort of discount or add-on you can give for basic shoulder extensions – that is, targeting only one day added on to the beginning or ending of a length of stay with special conditions for weekends. Once you know what works in motivating this, then you can proceed with targeting multiple nights.
Use Multiple Folios to Manage Expenses
Some of your clients may be hesitant to encourage a bleisure stay for their employees, given the potential headaches in isolating service delivery for both components of a hybrid stay. Work with your accounting department to create multiple folios for the single stay, with an artificial checkout and checkin as the responsibility for expenses moves from corporate to personal.
Awareness is Always Key
Actively promote bleisure on your website and via eblasts to ensure that business visitors understand your receptivity to their extended stay. In addition to the website, actively promote the concept to your corporate client base. Bleisure gives your sales team another reason to contact their customers!
Any Group is a Good Group for Bleisure
The bleisure concept can also mean extending similar services to weddings or any social events where a room block is created. Consider allowing additional rooms to be attached to either side of the block at a preferential price point for a limited period of time. Perhaps you can try to extend that Saturday night wedding into a two-night stay, helping transform the typically slow Sunday night.
This article may not be reproduced without the expressed permission of the author.
Editor’s note: To discuss business challenges or speaking engagements please contact Larry directly.