Travel trends to watch – Business and leisure combine.

Leisure travel is back on the rise and, while business travel may have been lagging behind, that is changing. Business Wire originally reported that corporate travel levels are expected to rise up to around 79% of pre-COVID levels by the end of 2021. We are seeing evidence of this scenario playing out in the booking data we collect — October showed a 34% increase in corporate bookings for NightsBridge properties via our top ten corporate channels.

“The world is Zoomed out and Teams fatigued. Nothing beats face-to-face interactions. Corporate travel will resume. It’s high time we get back to business as usual.”  – Andrew Stark, Managing Director Flight Centre Travel Group MEA

Whilst booking numbers are approaching pre-COVID levels, not everything about corporate travel has remained the same. The pandemic has made many people reconsider their approach to life and work. A lot of full-time employees have yet to return to the office, and being able to work from any location with Wi-Fi definitely has its perks. New trends are emerging in how travellers think about their trips as it’s no longer hard to combine work and pleasure. Enter ‘bleisure’ travel and ‘workations’ as the new buzz words in the industry.

Let’s unpack these two travel trends and find out how savvy properties can adapt their offer to take advantage.

Bring on the bleisure.

No, it’s not a spelling mistake — bleisure travel is simply a blend of business and leisure, with travellers looking to add a few days of leisure to the start or end of their scheduled work trip. It’s estimated that up to 60% of business trips are extended in this way. Research also shows bleisure travellers usually stay at the same property for both the business and leisure portions of their trip.

Properties can take advantage of this trend by promoting specific bleisure packages or discounted rates for extensions to stays. Bleisure travellers don’t have a lot of extra time to plan so if you can put together attractive specials or discounts on meals it will definitely be welcomed – throw in a free breakfast or a welcome pack in the room for example.

We’re all going on a summer woliday.

A workation (or woliday) is a combination of work and vacation. Basically, taking a holiday while still doing a fairly regular amount of work while at your destination. Cape Town was recently ranked among the top 80 most attractive remote work destinations in the world, so targeting this niche audience is definitely worth considering.

As a property, you probably already have what workationers need (mostly free and fast Wi-Fi!), so tell them about this upfront. Adding comfortable chairs and desks to your rooms for the hours they have to put in some work will help, as would offering a discount on room service or laundry while they visit.

How NightsBridge helps you make the most of these trends.

Showcasing the right offer in the right place and at the right time means you’ll be able to provide these travellers with exactly what they are looking for. The NightsBridge booking engine lets properties easily create and display specials and promote discounted rates upfront in a brochure style layout. A great place to add a ‘Long Stay’ deal, for example.

The NightsBridge booking engine’s promo code feature also makes it easy to create shareable bespoke discounts for event planners or conference organisers to pass on to their attendees. It also clearly displays all your amenities (like that fast Wi-Fi we mentioned) to help guests with their booking decisions. And properties using our Concierge feature can earn commission by offering a range of fun activities to bleisure travellers or workationers during their stay.

During this recovery period it is important to be able to keep your marketing approach flexible. Keeping an eye on trends and reading up on industry predictions, to see where you can match the needs of your corporate guests, is a must. That way you’ll be prepared and stay one step ahead of the game.

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