Spain is an ideal destination for “Bleisure”
There are probably many people who still do not know what we are referring to when we mention “bleisure”. And this is because, in spite of being a practice that has been happening for quite a long time (it was given the specific name several years ago), we have stopped to analyse what we can do to increase this tendency. The first thing we shall do is explain what it is.
What is “bleisure”?
The word in itself is nothing more than the direct combination of business and leisure. With this term we refer to something as simple as those who, either before or after their business trip, take advantage to spend a few more days at the destination for sightseeing, rest…. everything we understand as holidays. Simply that.
You may think this has always been done, right? Well, yes, but it is an increasing tendency and an interesting product to develop because, logically, it means extra income for the destination in question, and everything that destination offers. This combination of leisure and business currently represents approximately 50% of the business traveller that have signed up to “bleisure”. (percentages vary depending on dates and destinations). Indeed, the very companies and agencies that organise events try to promote dates for the events to ensure the business trip can be linked to a weekend of leisure.
Which destinations are most in demand in regard to this tendency?
When potentially linking a business trip with leisure the choice of destination is of even more importance. We need the chosen city to be suitable for the event or meeting to be held. Infrastructure, particular image requirements, if applicable, communications are always imperative…..But it must also be a destination that offers that special appeal whether for sightseeing or just to rest.
Taking these points into consideration, it is easy to guess that it is the bigger cities that tend to choose this type of event for a prolonged weekend stay. In Europe, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome or Barcelona are those that head the majority of rankings. But let us not forget that a beach destination is also very appealing. Wouldn´t you take advantage to stay over a weekend if you happened to attend an event in Málaga, Mallorca, Valencia..? There are so many options that we, the specialists in destinations (and here we are not only referring to the DMCs but to all of us who work in the field), can promote the increase in those stays.
Why more and more participants opt for “bleisure”.
It does not escape any of us that with new technology, the boundary between work and one´s private life is ever more blurred. For this reason and bearing in mind that on many occasions we use part of our personal free time to dedicate it to work, the balance tends to veer undeniably towards the search for equilibrium. Just as working from home is little by little becoming more recognised in the work market, using a business trip to combine it with pleasure is something even encouraged by many companies and considered the norm among employees. Holidays are necessary and if there is a trip on the horizon, why not take advantage?
On many occasions participants stay on their own or with a group of those attending the event. Another popular choice is that family or friends join them once the business trip has finished, or even during the days of the event to enjoy the destination once the meetings have finished, if the programme allows.
Undoutedly, the increase in “bleisure” is unstoppable.
With the traveller increasingly open to these combinations of business and leisure, from our position as those who receive clients in the destination, we must not only offer that tendency but develop it.
Of course, offering a special price for accomodation to those who wish to extend their stay or arrive before the date of the event is a very good call. But it is not the only thing. We must offer organising intermediary agencies or the company concerned clear documentation indicating the most appealing points of the chosen destination. Provide suggestions for activities for those who stay over the weekend or highlight tourist points of general interest “not to be missed”. These are clear points to begin to promote that business trip as a combined leisure break.
On this kind of trip, the same person is going to need very different services during the same stay. Anticipating those needs is crucial to ensuring travellers opt more and more for this combination. After all, tourism enriches a destination in all its senses and, if there is something we know how to do in Spain, it is to surpass the expectations of our visitors.
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