Frequent Business Travelers Extend Stays – Create ‘Bleisure’ Travel Trend

BY Courtney Huckabay
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The number of single bookings for small group trips grew by 40 percent in the past five years, according to Intrepid Travel, an Australia-​based adventure travel company, which is introducing new solos-​only adventures for 2018. Going solo can be relaxing without the hassle of coordinating plans with others. Hotel concierges can suggest restaurants or local sights to explore.

The top vacation trends for 2018 include:

'Bleisure’ Vacations

"Aptly named for when business travelers add on a day or more for fun and sightseeing when traveling for work," Heidi Werner writes. "Thirty-​three percent of Gen Xers and 23 percent of boomers do so, according to the Global Business Travel Association. Since their employers pay for a portion of their trip, tour companies and hotels are looking for ways to cater to these travelers."

The travel industry can target Frequent Business Travelers and encourage them to extend their work stays — especially to include any local events. The new AudienceSCAN study reported 33.5% of Frequent Business Travelers want to attend beer/​wine festivals this year, and 31% want to visit arts festivals.

Going Solo

"Traveling alone can be rewarding and liberating. You are the one making the choices of where to dine or which museum to spend an afternoon viewing art or historical artifacts. Traveling alone does not have to be lonely. Book a room in the heart of town where there is activity and you can talk with the locals or other travelers."

Most business travelers will be solo, so travel pros can focus on great things to do alone in destinations. Skiing could be featured: 17% of Frequent Business Travelers plan to visit ski resorts this year, according to the latest AudienceSCAN survey.

Skip-​Gen Travel

"Multi-​generational trips are big these days with grandparents taking grandkids on vacations without their parents. Working parents may not have the same vacation time as their kids, but retired grandparents often are willing to spend time with the grandkids. Disneyworld and cruise ships where kids can swim with the dolphins are popular."

Pet-​Friendly Hotels

"More hotels are allowing travelers to bring their animals along, with some charging a $50 or $100 fee — but many charging nothing at all (such as Kimpton Hotels and Red Roof Inns). Luxury hotels are leading the way with complimentary kitty or doggie treats and throwing “yappy hours,” in which dogs and humans can enjoy refreshments together."

It's hard for Frequent Business Travelers to be away from their beloved pets, so hotels could promote bringing your pet along for business trips. They could emphasize doggie daycare offerings nearby or within resorts. The most recent AudienceSCAN study reported 57% of Frequent Business Travelers own dogs and 38.5% own cats.

Foodie Travel

"Travelers are interested in trips exploring regional food or taking a cooking class in other countries. From booking a beer and cheese tour in Wisconsin to a French cooking class in Paris, or shopping at a farmers market in Santa Fe, N.M., travelers want the foodie experience."

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.