Bleisure and the Rise of Hotels as Co-Working Spaces

3 min read

Ajay Nelson | November 27, 2023

The rise in remote working challenges the concept of hotels as "just" for leisure or business. With a shift toward hotels as co-working spaces, properties must have robust technology and communication systems to cater to professionals considering bleisure travel: downtime before or after a business trip. These changes create a new hospitality experience, quickly becoming one of today's most sought-after solutions.

Remote Working Meets Bleisure Travel

Bleisure has been an increasing travel trend in recent years. The biggest perk for adding leisure to business travel is visiting a destination at a lower price. Employees who travel for business meetings can save on hotel rooms, airfare, car rental, and food, as the company takes care of those expenses as it’s a part of the business trip. Then, if the employee tacks a few vacation days onto the trip, they could get car rental and hotel discounts for being a business traveler. 

Here are some statistics highlighting the prevalence and impact of bleisure travel:

  • US business travelers take over 405 million long-haul business trips annually. According to Stratos, employees add vacation time to around 60% of these trips (243 million).

  • 81% of business travelers engage in variations of bleisure travel, 61% include leisure activities into business travel, and 41% extend their stay to carve out some time off around their business trip.

  • In 2022, the American Hotel & Lodging Association survey found that 89% of participants wanted to include some vacation time in their next corporate trip.

  • According to Expedia's 2022 Q4 Traveler Insights Report, among those surveyed taking business trips, 76% said they planned to take a bleisure trip. 

  • An Allied Market Research study revealed that the travel industry's bleisure segment will likely be worth $731.4 billion by 2032 after being valued at $315.3 billion in 2022.

Hybrid Hospitality and Bleisure’s Impact on Hotels 

Remote working has become commonplace, and its popularity is driving a new demand for alternative, flexible workspaces – and hotels are on the frontline to cater to the needs of this mobile workforce. Hybrid hospitality is a rapidly rising model where hotels integrate co-working spaces as the demand for digital nomads keeps increasing. The global co-working space market size is expected to be USD 5.015 billion by 2028, exhibiting a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 9.6% during the forecast period, according to the 2023 Co-working Space Market Research Report. 

5 Benefits of Hotel Co-working Spaces

Hotels adapting to this new trend are proving successful as they have found a revenue channel by offering their meeting spaces and rooms as coworking spaces. They attract more people, increasing the chance of interacting with the property, spending more time, and eventually generating more revenue. There are additional benefits to this.

1. Adaptable Space

Whether event rooms, private rooms, or communal and shared spaces, hotels provide different types of suitable workspaces. Even underused areas, lobbies, and business centers can be transformed into working spaces. Hoteliers can take an example from Hilton, which offers a package for remote working.

2. Outstanding On-site Amenities

Along with proposed workspaces, hotels extend a wide range of extra facilities from clubs, restaurants, bars, gyms, and pools – adding to the experience, especially if the package comes with discounts or freebies.  

3. Round-the-clock Services and Access

Hotels do not have fixed opening hours like offices or coworking spaces. Being open 24/7 makes it easy to accommodate various workstyles and needs.  

4. Maximum Flexibility

An unquestionable appeal for businesses and employees is that hotels do not require long-term obligations, leases, or expensive guarantees but offer day-to-day flexibility for renting workspaces.  

5. Connectivity in Every Sense

Aside from fast, reliable internet, hotels can connect traveling professionals, entrepreneurs, and local communities. Not only is it easier to meet clients or partners, but it will also increase the chance to network and socialize with like-minded people from different backgrounds, building relationships along the way.  

Bleisure’s Effect on the Hospitality Industry  

The hospitality industry is directly impacted by bleisure travel, increasing hotel occupancy, and average daily rates. As rooms sell out, the hotel rates increase, so do restaurant food and beverages.  

Other ways bleisure travel affects the hospitality industry include:  

Increased Demand for Additional Services

Business travelers and their companions can access spa services and sightseeing tours, which are unavailable in a traditional work setup. These additional services are integral for relaxation before employees return to work. Travelers are willing to pay more when their company covers the cost of airfare and hotel. They also fill up downtime for traveling companions while the employee conducts business.  

Increased Customer Loyalty

Businesses are creating different ways to boost customer loyalty. When people choose hotels, airlines, and car rental agencies, they often select brands they've done business with before. The more positive exposure travelers have to a brand, the more likely they will become loyal customers. A reward-based loyalty program for business and leisure travelers can potentially increase your guests' return rate. As travelers collect points, they can earn free flights, hotel stays, and gift cards. Hotels can also personalize their post-stay surveys to capture as much information as possible. This will help hotels refine the guest experience and encourage other travelers to book their next stay with you.

Extending Length of Stay

Bleisure travelers typically extend their stays to enjoy leisure activities after completing their business obligations. This longer duration of stay provides hotels with more room nights booked, increasing their overall revenue. Hotels can benefit from offering appealing personalized packages, flexible check-in and check-out, and amenities that entice bleisure travelers to prolong their visit and explore the destination.  

As a global leader in business communications, Mitel’s customized solutions and exceptional customer support will have your business fully covered. Contact our experts to learn more about migrating your communications and request a quote today.

Ajay NelsonCampaign Architect - Demand Generation

Ajay is a senior marketing specialist passionate about email marketing and demand generation programs. He has over a decade of experience managing campaigns to improve customer brand visibility across verticals. Outside work, Ajay enjoys writing stories, exploring new places, and creating memories with his DSLR.

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