The rise of bleisure travelers has been a hot topic for the hotel industry over the last year, and since flexible and hybrid working is becoming the norm, we expect the lines between business and leisure travel will continue to blend. It’s important for hotels to adapt to cater to this new segment of bleisure travelers. Now, we will explore the various ways in which hotels can provide the best guest experience to bleisure travelers.
1. Implementing agile housekeeping systems
Travelers blending business and leisure impact hotel operations since it becomes harder to categorize guests and make presumptions about, for example, how long it will take to clean each room. As a rule of thumb, business travelers tend to spend minimal time in the room and require a lighter clean than leisure guests. However, if a business traveler turns into a leisure traveler come the weekend or for a couple of nights of their stay, or perhaps the family comes to join, this can significantly adjust the cleaning approach needed.
In order to adapt to this and keep costs in check, housekeeping operations will need to become more agile. If hotels aren’t operationally nimble, they will have difficulty adapting and will likely see a rise in costs.
2. Clear communication between front and back of house
Guests mixing business and leisure are also more likely to have differing preferences at different stages of their trip. For example, a guest may wish to work in their room uninterrupted one day but require a room clean the next. In this case, flexibility is key and hotels need to have technology in place to allow housekeeping to be as requested, when and where it is needed.
For hoteliers, operations technology with a two-way integration with the PMS is one way of making sure that no aspect of service or guest request goes unmissed. Two-way integration of this kind allows a hotel to have room status updates in real-time and ensures that guest requests aren’t missed, since it provides full transparency and clear communication channels between the front desk and housekeeping.
3. Ramping up hotel technology
According to National Car Rental’s 2020 State of Business Travel Survey, 90% of frequent business travelers choose brands that offer technology tools that improve the business travel experience. Within hotels, this could range from equipping rooms with the latest tech such as smart televisions and speakers, to the use of smartphone apps that allow for contactless check-in and check-outs, or even restaurant or spa payments.
Market-leading guest-facing technology is a prerequisite for bleisure travelers who prioritize efficiency and look for features in hotels that will enable them to take care of business matters without being interrupted by those on vacation.
4. Personalization of services
Personalization of the guest experience is valued by bleisure travelers since it often leads to processes and services becoming more efficient and many bleisure travelers are time constricted. For instance, many bleisure travelers are accompanied by partners or friends. To cater to this, hoteliers can create itineraries and make suggestions of relevant activities for couples or have a list of recommendations of nearby restaurants that may appeal to your bleisure guests.
5. Offering a range of amenities
A typical bleisure traveler will be interested in corporate offerings such as private meeting areas, laptop or phone charging ports, and any 24-hour services available. However, on top of this, they will also be looking out for facilities such as spas, saunas, and gyms or fitness centers.
It is however important to remember that business travelers may not be thinking of leisure when they first book their stay. This means that hoteliers may present leisure activities nearby and entice these guests to stay longer. For instance, a hotel may offer a discount of ten percent on extra nights for business guests.
6. Flexible setup in hotel rooms
Many hotel rooms are equipped with a desk which creates a useful workspace for those who are traveling on business. However, bleisure travelers may desire greater flexibility and separation between work and leisure times. An excellent solution to this is to redesign hotel rooms so that they can provide a multifunctional space throughout the day.
Marriott is doing great work in this area and is working with furniture and design brand Ori to maximize usage in smaller spaces. Solutions such as beds that drop down from the ceiling when you need them at night will be a valued feature for those traveling on business and looking to host meetings in their room during the day.
When looking to improve the offering for bleisure travelers, hoteliers must take a holistic approach and pay attention to each aspect of the hotel stay that this new niche of travelers place value on. There is little merit in having best-in-class amenities if the operational side of the hotel is disorganized and important guest requests are missed. We work closely with our customers to understand their pain points and work to bring them solutions.
If you’re ready to find out how you could elevate your hotel operations, book a demo of our platform.