The Rise Of The Bleisure Tourist

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Just when tourism was booming and it felt like the world was becoming smaller, Covid exploded and pushed us all apart – literally. We dove into our own bubbles where we learnt new ways to earn, educate and entertain.


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Just when tourism was booming and it felt like the world was becoming smaller, Covid exploded and pushed us all apart – literally. We dove into our own bubbles where we learnt new ways to earn, educate and entertain.  As restrictions ease, a new, hybridised human is emerging.  A mix of new skills with old addictions – the need to travel is stronger than ever but now, they do it smarter!

Enter the Bleisure traveller. Although this term was first coined in 2011*, the Covid pandemic ballooned the subscription; working from home taught us that we can work from ANYWHERE, and so, we do!

Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group says, "Remote and Hybrid working has seen us welcome a flurry of Bleisure guests into our once, mostly-leisure-guest-filled hotels and resorts."

He adds that as a result, First Group, like many others in the hospitality industry, have had to adapt to this change. "As a Group, we are always looking to innovate and stay abreast of what our guests want (and need!) to make magical, lasting memories with their friends and family.  Ensuring that our properties were set up for Bleisure guests was simply a non-negotiable for us; we sought to discover what they were after and have responded accordingly."

So, what are Bleisure guests looking for? Shaun shares that, in his experience, these 4 things are a high-priority for Bleisure travellers:

  1. Business-relevant amenities: Facilities like FREE, fast and reliable internet connections, easily-accessible electrical outlets and working spaces in rooms are now standard requirements rather than 'nice-to-haves'.
  2. Rooms with a view: In B.C. (Before COVID) times, guests would spend little to no time in their rooms during the day. Now that they are mixing business and leisure, the last thing they want is to be stuck in a hotel room overlooking the next building. The whole point of taking a 'workation' is to work in an environment that is beautiful, awe-inspiring and nothing like home, right?
  3. Top-class childcare: Many Bleisure guests take their children on their 'workation' and want the assurance that while they are solving the world's problems, their precious cargo will be taken care of, fed and having fun!
  4. Meals included: Self-catering has always been a hit with leisure guests, however, Bleisure guests are strapped for time. When they are not working, they want to be relaxing and enjoying time with their partner or family. They don't want the chore of cooking which is why so many look for packages that include meals or have restaurants on site.

 

"The hybrid work model has allowed organisations to strike a balance between giving employees the flexibility of working from home, whilst also offering the connection and interaction of in-office work. As more and more businesses adopt this model, we expect to see an even greater rise in Bleisure guests. Workations are the way of the future and it is up to the hospitality industry to make sure they are ready and waiting with open doors and fluffed pillows," Shaun concludes.

By Shaun Lamont Managing Director, First Group

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