Bleisure Travel: Injecting “Me” Time into Business Trips

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The modern globalized world is defined by rapid change. Everything evolves quickly, and the travel and hospitality industry, spurred by technology, is no exception: there are new demographic, socioeconomic and psychographic profiles – groups defined by their personality, lifestyle, interests, tastes and values.

In this context, travelers‟ demands and expectations when they search for a hotel and the way they actually travel have also shifted.

This has started to mold what resort and city hotels offer guest. For resort hotels, the focus is personalizing products and experiences that complement the „sun and beach‟ package; while city hotels are seeing growing demand from guests who seek something beyond accommodation and appropriate service during their trips to the city. City hotels have had to evolve in parallel with these changes.

Business travel and its impact on the hotel industry

Asia Pacific continues to be the largest business travel region in the world, comprising 39 per cent of global business travel. And despite the sluggish economy and weak rupiah, Indonesia has been identified as one of five newly emerging markets for business travel markets of the future, according to Global Business Travel Association.

Visa‟s Global Travel Intentions Study 2015 found that Indonesian travelers intended to make twice as many business trips overseas than other nationals. It indicated that Indonesians have an optimistic outlook on the business environment.

Amidst the growth in business travel, the hotel industry is seeing the bleisure trend gain traction. Here the line between business trips and leisure breaks fades considerably as more business travelers complement their work time with dining experiences, wellness or sport, social interaction with local residents, and of course, discovery in the destination. Cities have also been strengthening their tourism and leisure efforts, with city breaks increasing exponentially along with occupancy in city hotels at the weekend.

The dawn of the new business age marks a shift in travel behavior and expectations. As the lines between business and leisure become blurred, workers realize being on the road presents an opportunity to positively impact their work-life balance. The advent of technology has no doubt played a crucial part in this cultural shift.

According to respondents to a 2014 BridgeStreet survey, a key motivation for bleisure is to see the world and gain cultural experiences. The second largest group of bleisure travelers has been the 25- to 35-year-olds, or millennials, who wanted to explore a city because they had never previously been. Besides the obvious flexibility bleisure affords this always-connected, always-on generation, more telling is their blurred, digital lifestyle seems to dovetail with the bleisure mindset.

For hoteliers, this emerging segment of travellers offers a clear opportunity. For the hotel itself, it has to offer a full experience and a perfect setting for a business trip and leisure and discovery experience. Providing additional choices to business travellers can prove advantageous, positioning the property as the hub for social networking and its staff as local experts to the best sights and dining spots in the city.

The RedGlove Service at the Gran Meliá hotels

Positioned as the classic luxury hotel brand under Meliá Hotels International, Gran Meliá is the expert in designing an exclusive and premier series of hotels and resorts to satisfy the most discerning guests in the world. Among all the luxury and world-class offerings of Gran Meliá Hotels, the RedGlove Service is one of the signature offerings that distinguished us in the market.

The RedGlove Service at the Gran Meliá Xi‟an in China, for example, has the inside scoop on unique cultural attractions in the ancient capital. Whether guests are looking for a leisurely bicycle ride on the old city wall, the must-see exhibits at the Shanxi History Museum or the best stall on the Muslim food street, the Gran Meliá RedGlove staff has them covered so every stay is a memorable experience.

If guests prefer not to venture far from the hotel, a Spanish culinary experience awaits at the Duo Restaurant in Gran Meliá Xi‟an. And for a nightcap, guests need look no further than the La Cava Cigar Bar on the second floor.

In the Indonesian capital, Gran Meliá Jakarta tantalize taste buds with authentic local flavors, such as nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice) or satay ayam (chicken skewers). Or if Cantonese and Sichuan are more your fancy, there is the Tien Chao Restaurant. With Jakarta ́s finest business address in the Golden Triangle only meters from the airport express toll way doing business in Jakarta could never be so convenient and so enjoyable.

And for those seeking a luxurious reboot after the day‟s last meeting, the hotels‟ signature wellness brand, YHI Spa, features full restorative treatments and top-notch amenities. These promise to pamper guests with an uncompromised level of quality and service.

“Meliá Hotels International has unique expertise in the leisure and business customer relationship. When you pair our heritage in resorts with how well we understand the psychographics of our guests, you can offer very personalized experiences for guests, and provide them with „Me‟ time,” said Bernado Cabot, Regional Vice President Asia Pacific, Meliá Hotels International.

“Strategically, our hotels are in prime locations in important business hubs and first-class tourist destinations, such as Jakarta and Xi‟an, so these present the perfect opportunity to deliver the bleisure experience for which our guests are looking,” he continued.

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