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In Search of the American Bleisure Traveler
21 February 2017 (Edited )
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Expedia Media Solutions has published the results of research it commissioned done by Luth Research profiling the American "bleisure" traveler.

Results are based completed surveys and digital data for 128 individuals who self-selected as bleisure travelers.

Some key points:

  • Technology is the predominant industry sector for bleisure travelers (those in the survey sample, at least): 26%
  • Predominant trip frequency is once every 2-3 months (38%)
  • Respondents said that on average 43% of their business trips are bleisure trips.
  • International business trips were more likely than domestic trips to be bleisure trips (52% vs. 42%).
  • Attending a conference or convention was the most common purpose of the business portion of a bleisure trip (43%)
  • In 42% of trip instances business days exceeded leisure days, but in 37% of instances business and leisure days were equal.
  • Respondents most often spent 2 nights on business trips, but 6 or more nights on bleisure trips.
  • A longer business trip makes a bleisure trip more likely.
  • 66% of respondents said they spend more money on leisure activities during bleisure trips because of the money saved on travel.
  • 54% said they plan their business trips around the leisure activities they intend to do.
  • 84% of bleisure trips involve both just one city and just one hotel.
  • Those who switch hotels for the leisure portion of the trip most often do so because the business hotel is expensive (72%).
  • Traveling to an exciting destination is the #1 motivator for bleisure trips (66%).
  • More than any other factor, sightseeing opportunities (85%) make a bleisure trip destination exciting.
  • Top 5 bleisure trip destination US cities: NYC, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, DC
  • Top 5 US cities that are best for vacation: San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Nashville, NYC
  • Festivals or cultural events (mentioned by 86%) are big draws for adding leisure time to a business trip. More than 50% also mentioned sporting events, concerts, and plays or musicals.
  • Bleisure trippers move quickly to the "near booking" phase of trip planning; path to booking commonly 1-4 weeks.
  • Top bleisure trip components researched (50%+) are hotels, airfares and restaurants.
  • Hotels are most often researched first (35%)
  • 77% use some combination of search engines and travel sites for trip planning.
    • 16% use search engines exclusively.
    • Only 7 % don't use search engines in trip planning.
  • Respondents generally (93% - 100%) said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the results of their researching and booking of various trip components.
  • Travel site categories most often visited were:
    • Events 47%
    • OTA 41%
    • Travel media/info 33%
  • 51% of respondents who visited an OTA site visited 2 or more.
  • Desktops predominated in research for hotels, airlines, events/deals, car rental and travel media/info; mobile (smartphones and tablets) for OTAs and home rentals.
  • OTA sites were most frequently visited via smartphone (27%).
  • Travel sites were most often visited on Mondays, least often on Thursdays.
  • Across all days of the week, travel sites were most often visited between 9 AM and 3 PM, least often between 7 PM and 8 PM.
  • Destinations are the #1 search category (27% of total).

A pretty small sample (128). But plenty of actionable stuff here for marketers:

  • For everyone:
    • Be visible in search engines (organic and paid).
    • Make sure your online advertising is visible on Mondays and between 9 AM and 3 PM daily.
    • Be accessible by mobile devices.
  • For cities:
    • Host lots of conferences and conventions.
    • Promote your sporting events, festivals, concerts, plays.
    • Promote local sightseeing opportunities.
    • Link to your hotels, attractions, events.
  • For hotels:
    • Be business-friendly, since extended leisure portions of business trips most often involve the same hotel.
    • Make direct booking fast/easy.
    • Work with OTAs to the extent economically feasible.


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