The rise of bleisure

By | Category: Travel rumblings
cartoon of passenger rushing to catch a flight

what will be available in the future for the bleisurists? © Dan Sperrin

For many years it has been known that business travellers will relax on their business trip and possibly visit a gallery, a museum, the theatre or even undertake a two- hour tour of their destination.

It is only recently that a word has been coined to describe this type of tourism – “bleisure.”  I would argue that the majority of business travellers have been “bleisurists” for years but we have been handicapped by what we are able to do. Most city tours take more time than we have available so little has been done to cater for this market other than for large conference or convention bookings whereas as part of a thousand people gathered together to discuss business trends, time is found for a leisure diversion lasting a couple of hours.

For the individual, reliance has probably been placed on the hotel concierge service. We have used them to recommend a show or an attraction secure in the knowledge that they recommend it they can at least get last-minute tickets to attend.

hotel room

Will other bleisure acivities become available so bleisurists won’t just end up vegetating in a hotel room?

But one hotel chain, Maritim Hotels has been watching this “bleisure” trend and forecasts  significant growth in 2018. At events or conferences, booked at their hotels, it is adding pre-or-post-adventures or in-conference day trips for example as well as providing extra incentives for delegates.

They claim that adding an experience before the conference gets delegates fired up for the forthcoming event and that it can also boost team bonding. There are benefits for the employer too because if the conference is a mid-week event, adding an event after the event is over could mean that cheaper weekend airfares are available.

Now that at least one hotel chain is catering for group “bleisurists” what of the individual? Will hotels devise and offer more leisure pursuits instead of the standard leisure centre, videos-on-demand and standard tours? Can they, for example,  persuade galleries to stay open for an extra few hours in the evening and other attractions to act similarly?

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