“Bleisure combines the words ‘business’ and ‘leisure’, and describes a new form of tourism: business travel that is associated with leisure activities (spa, ski, golf, sightseeing etc.) and which can involve guests of the business traveller (e.g. their family).”Bleisure – a new trend in the tourism industry
“Are you traveling for business or pleasure?”
This classic hospitality question is about to be a thing of the past as more and more people travel for bleisure. The portmanteau of two words aptly describes a new segment of travelers: those who work and travel at the same time.
With 24% of professional jobs now remote, the lines have blurred between work and leisure, and the bleisure audience is now a significant one for museums and attractions. It’s good to keep in mind, though, that there are several different bleisure travel archetypes:
- The traditional business traveler who extends the trip by a few days or takes time off between meetings to see the sites, perhaps even bringing along a spouse or family member
- The remote employee who brings their laptop along to work while on the road for a short adventure
- The digital nomad who no longer has a home at all, and always works on the road
How do we know this? Tiqets recently conducted a survey of 2,000 people in the US and found that 26% always extend a work trip to capitalize on some leisure time in a new place, and 58% of those who work remotely have traveled as part of that lifestyle at least some of the time. Here’s what they told us about their preferences, and what you need to know to attract this crowd to your museum or attraction.
Bleisure travel fact #1
59% of travelers visit 3 to 4 attractions
Bleisure travelers don’t just find the time to visit one museum or attraction when they travel for work. They visit impressive numbers of places. While the majority visit three or four attractions, a significant 15% actually visit five or more on a single trip!
Act on it: Knowing you’re not always in direct competition with other nearby attractions, think about ways you can team up with others to promote your venues and experiences.
Bleisure travel fact #2
38% of travelers visit iconic landmarks
Bleisure travelers carve out time for specific types of attractions. The most popular choice is iconic landmarks, but boat cruises and hop-on hop-off buses vie with historical sites and monuments for second place. Our poll also found that favorite attractions vary by generation. Millennials – the most likely to hit the road while working – are even more likely to gravitate toward iconic landmarks. Baby Boomers prefer historical sites and monuments.
Act on it: Know your audience. Download our newest ebook about 2022 travel industry trends to cater to specific personas in your marketing.
Bleisure travel fact #3
40% of travelers most often visit attractions in the morning
Speaking of brunch, the most popular time to visit an attraction is in the morning, while after work (34%) and during lunch (32%) were close seconds. Weekends are the least popular time, interestingly enough.
Act on it: If weekends are a popular time for families and regular tourists to visit, balance out your traffic by focusing on bleisure travelers during business days. Hone in on digital tourism marketing strategies with original content and social media marketing campaigns specifically targeting these kinds of travelers.
Bleisure travel fact #4
31% of travelers crave foodie experiences
While iconic landmarks, historical sites, and other attractions are the main draw for bleisure travelers, they also expressed interest in special events such as exclusive dinners, brunches, or food experiences. And while more than half would rather spend $100 on an experience than a meal, if you can give them both, it’s a clincher.
Act on it: Think about ways to combine their time preferences with their love of foodie experiences – for instance, invite a local coffee vendor in for a morning lobby experience or host a cocktail hour after work. You could also tout your cafeteria’s particularly tasty offerings or bring in an independent food truck and tease it on social media. #nomnom
Bleisure travel fact #5
44% of travelers are at the mercy of when work actually ends
While 34% of respondents said they enjoy going to museums and attractions after work, nearly half can only do so if work ends on time – not always a guarantee, especially when trying to cram in a lot of onsite meetings or Zoom calls during a busy day.
Act on it: Consider staying open late on certain weeknights and even offering special weeknight deals for those who can only visit after a certain time.
Bleisure travel fact #6
The ability to get reimbursed is a draw for 43% of travelers
Nearly half of our intrepid bleisure travelers are particularly interested in museums and attractions they can get reimbursed for visiting. If their employer will pay for it, it’s a must-do.
Act on it: On your end, this might mean striking up partnerships with large local companies, professional organizations, trade shows, and other groups whose employees and guests are going to be in town.
Bleisure travel fact #7
35% of travelers are pressed for time to research
While bleisure travelers love to explore and have adventures, they don’t always have a lot of time to research the options. That means that the museums and attractions in the front of their minds (and in front of their faces) are apt to get the most attention and attendance.
Act on it: This is a call to amp up your marketing efforts – particularly social media marketing, where you can take advantage of advanced targeting techniques to appeal to specific types and groups of people.
Bleisure travel fact #8
34% of travelers hear about happenings from a search engine
While the overall most common way bleisure travelers conduct their research is via search engines, it’s a close race – 33% read travel blogs such as National Geographic, TimeOut, and the Tiqets blog; 32% use ticket-booking sites and apps (like Tiqets, Airbnb Experiences, and TripAdvisor); and 32% turn to Instagram – the most popular social media platform for bleisure travelers to gather data.
According to our survey, slightly fewer bleisure travelers turn to Pinterest, TikTok, and email newsletters. If you have to choose where to spend your marketing dollars, this information can help you rank your priorities.
Act on it: Improving your website or blog’s SEO capabilities is another way to make yourself known to the general traveling public. If your site comes up high on an easy search of “best museums in Amsterdam” or “things to do in Paris” you are far more likely to see internet traffic translate to foot traffic.
Bleisure travel fact #9
37% of travelers don’t plan very far ahead
A quarter of the folks Tiqets surveyed plan bleisure outings two days in advance; nearly a quarter need slightly more leeway; 12% make plans the day of the visit.
Act on it: Any way you slice it, you don’t have a lot of lead time to capitalize on the bleisure traveler’s desire to museum-hop. Make it easy for them to “drop in” with accessible mobile ticketing.
Bleisure travel fact #10
33% of travelers don’t want to do things on their own
As much as bleisure travelers have a keen sense of adventure and independence, they don’t always want to do things alone. A third of them cite “going alone” as a deterrent to visiting museums and attractions.
Act on it:
Some bleisure travelers go abroad with a loved one, in which case, they have a built-in partner for visiting museums and attractions. But for those who don’t, the company of co-workers might be an enticing prospect. Consider connecting with local companies and conference organizers to offer attendees a special rate if they attend together. Or go the other route and play up the advantages of sightseeing alone – without someone chatting in your ear, you can really soak in the experience!
Bleisure travel fact #11
They’re willing to pay $40-59
Tiqets asked what people are willing to pay, on average, for admission to a museum or attraction. The response was emphatically consistent: between $40 and $59 for most types of experiences. However, they’re willing to pay more for admission to a theme park or water park: $60-79.
Act on it: Keep these numbers in mind as you set your prices, and never sell yourself short. It’s often advantageous to play up the value of your entry fee versus discounting it in an attempt to draw in more visitors.
Work the numbers
Even before the pandemic, bleisure travel was an increasingly popular lifestyle choice. In 2018, Expedia Group noted that bleisure travelers were taking an average of six trips a year and extending more than 60% of their business trips for leisure. Those numbers will only continue to rise as more and more people embrace the freedom of remote work, and as the world opens back up to post-pandemic travel.
While Tiqets specifically polled US travelers for this survey, the results indicate a meaningful shift in the way people travel worldwide. Now’s your chance to get ready to take full advantage of the opportunities in front of you.