Flight Centre’s Corporate Traveller, a leading player in the travel sector, recently released data showcasing a significant shift in travel patterns.
One notable trend in business travel has emerged in 2023, bringing a breath of fresh air to the accommodation industry.
The key takeaway?
An impressive growth in domestic bleisure travel, driven by changing work dynamics and the pursuit of a healthier work-life balance. This paradigm shift in travel behaviour warrants a closer look for accommodation operators seeking to adapt and thrive in this changing environment.
The data snapshot
Corporate Traveller conducted a meticulous analysis of their flight bookings between May 1, and October 31, 2023, comparing the data year-on-year. The findings revealed a noteworthy contrast in travel trends:
Short stays decline: Short-stay trips, those lasting from the same day to three days, witnessed a decline of 3.9 percent on average this year. Specifically, same-day, two-day, and three-day trips saw negative growth rates of -2.3 percent, -1 percent, and -8.4 percent, respectively.
The rise of longer stays: In stark contrast, trips exceeding three days experienced a surge in popularity. Corporate Traveller reported a 3.8 percent growth in four-day trips, a 4.2 percent increase in five-day trips, and an impressive 5.8 percent growth in six-day trips.
Understanding the shift
The driving force behind this trend is the transformation in work patterns. As Tom Walley, Australia-based Global Managing Director of Corporate Traveller, points out, hybrid and flexible working arrangements have revolutionised the way business travellers approach their trips.
With the ability to work remotely from anywhere, executives are increasingly opting to extend their stays, thereby creating opportunities for leisure activities in new destinations.
Moreover, the concept of bleisure travel is gaining traction. Travellers are incorporating short breaks into their business trips, effectively striking a balance between work and leisure. This change not only enriches their travel experience but also has a positive impact on work-life balance and overall well-being.
The benefits of longer stays
One notable advantage of extending corporate trips is that it has minimal impact on flight costs, as flights are already booked. In some cases, it can even lead to perks such as discounted accommodation rates or more favourable return flight dates. Some forward-thinking organisations are recognising the morale-boosting effects of enabling staff to combine business with leisure, ultimately enhancing business success.
Tom Walley underscores the importance of understanding these shifting preferences among business travellers. Adapting to these evolving needs is crucial for the travel industry to remain relevant and competitive.
He said: “Understanding the shifting preferences of business travellers is essential for the travel industry to adapt and cater to the evolving needs of travellers across different trip lengths. The growth in bleisure travel this year reflects a changing mindset among travellers that will continue shaping the industry and its offerings to meet that growth in demand.”
What hotel operators can do
For accommodation operators catering to business travellers, this trend presents both opportunities and challenges. Here are some strategies to consider:
Extended stay packages: Offer special packages and incentives for guests to extend their stays beyond typical business trips. This could include discounts on additional nights, complimentary amenities, or exclusive access to local experiences.
Work-friendly amenities: Ensure that your accommodation is equipped with amenities conducive to remote work. High-speed internet, ergonomic workspaces, and quiet areas can attract business travellers looking to balance work and leisure.
Local experiences: Collaborate with local businesses to provide unique leisure activities and experiences for bleisure travellers. Highlight these offerings to entice guests to explore the destination during their extended stays.
Flexibility: Be flexible with booking policies to accommodate changing travel plans. Offering easy reservation modifications can attract travellers who value adaptability.
Promote work-life balance: Emphasise the importance of work-life balance in your marketing materials. Showcase the benefits of extending a business trip for leisure and relaxation.
The rise of bleisure travel is reshaping the landscape of business travel. Accommodation operators who adapt to this trend and cater to the changing needs of travellers stand to benefit from this shift in travel behaviour.
By offering tailored experiences and amenities that align with the desires of bleisure travellers, you can ensure your accommodation remains a top choice for those seeking a perfect blend of work and leisure.
Length of stay
% increase from 1 May–31 October 2023 YoY
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