March 01, 2018

The GBTA Foundation, the research and education arm of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), did a survey focusing on the "bleisure" (business + leisure) travel trend. Titled "Extending Business Travel into Leisure Time - Bleisure Study," it's based on a survey of business travelers in the United States and Canada.


The Facts
Statistics show that more and more business travelers are tacking on leisure time to their business meetings. Here's what the survey found: 

* 37 percent of total respondents had extended a work trip for leisure purposes at least once in the previous year. For Millennials, the number was 48 percent.

*90 percent of bleisure travelers typically extend their trips for more than a day; on average, they extend business trips for three days; 23 percent extend them for more than three days.

*The most common reasons for extending work trips for leisure were: 
1. To visit a destination that they like (43 percent);
2. To visit a new destination that they've wanted to see (38 percent); 
3. To lower the cost of taking a vacation (34 percent);
4. To take time away from home and work (34 percent).

*Travelers' most common reasons for not extending were: 
1. Lack of time (58 percent);
2. Company policy (18 percent);
3. Undesirable location (17 percent);
4. Cost (14 percent).

"Combining business and leisure is easy in a versatile destination like Atlantic City. In addition to the boardwalk and the beach, 'the entertainment capital of the Jersey Shore' has plenty of activities to inspire add-on leisure days," says Sandi Harvey, Vice-President of Sales for Meet AC.

 

To Your Benefit
So how can planners take advantage of the bleisure trend?

* Consider the leisure options when choosing the destination. While you take this into consideration anyway, factoring in pre-and-post stays of several days is different than planning activities that would be taking place during the meeting or after hours. 

* Work with a property and suppliers that value the business/leisure customer and offer special rates and promotions for add-ons and amenities. 

*Negotiate with the property knowing that there will/may be significant pre-and-post add-on nights. Emphasize the added value of bleisure attendees, including additional room nights, extracurricular activities and potential for future business. Realize the additional leverage this creates for negotiating with venues and vendors.

 

*When you market your event to your group, play up the pre-and-post-meeting leisure option. Offer tips - which your CVB or DMO can suggest - of leisure attractions and activities. "Our office is ready and able to provide plenty of ideas for 'bleisure' activities in Atlantic City. Talk to us, because there's so much more to experience in Atlantic City," says Harvey.

For more ideas of bleisure options in Atlantic City, visit www.meetac.com.