Blending business and leisure in the same trip is not new. Convention goers often added a day or two to their trips to other parts of the country. As 2022 and the end of Covid approached, experts predicted there would be “a return to the office” and a resurgence of business travel. Not only did the return to the office happen very unevenly or not at all when many workers expressed that they are less productive in the office than working remotely. Many companies also saw less value in business travel after they got along without it for two years.
These new, free from the office professionals who can work from anywhere, come in two varieties, those who disconnect from work for some period of time on one or two trips a year, and the “laptop luggers” who take as many as four trips combining work and leisure a year.
Since approximately half of all business trips in the United States now include a leisure component, this represents a lot of visitors who have sprung themselves from the 9 to 5, to work remotely for some portion of the time and visit new places while they do. Small communities, especially those with vacation rentals with all the comforts of home, are the perfect location and these visitors also present a huge opportunity for lodging properties to tap into longer stays, even in low season. Now that the “bleisure” trend has taken hold, it is not expected to subside for the foreseeable future, making it one of the important opportunities that smaller communities have available.