Every day, business takes employees to exotic and faraway places, casting a sense of envy that speaks of luxury and discovery. Most times, however, trips are quick and exhausting. Short trips of great distances overseas are especially taxing on the mind and body.
"Bleisure" travel is changing that. In recent years, business travelers are putting an exclamation point on the beginning or end of such trips by combining business with pleasure through extended stays. An extra day or two rejuvenates and affords the opportunity to enjoy faraway destinations.
A growing travel segment is developing, made up of business travelers who want to experience new places and unwind from the stress of long trips. Last year, global business travel spending rose 5.8 percent to $1.33 million and spending is estimated to increase to $1.7 trillion by 2022, according to the Global Business Travel Association.
The vacation rental industry is becoming a go-to destination for executives, sales professionals and others who frequently or infrequently travel long distances for work. Short-term rental companies are carving a niche to cater to these travelers.
Business travelers want more control over bookings and not just a hotel
MagicStay.com, which has specialized in accommodating business travelers since starting four years ago, said the desire to stay in a home, apartment or studio in international cities close to major business centers is on the rise. A recent study by the booking company notes that 61 percent of travelers polled had stayed somewhere other than a hotel in the last 12 months.
Fanny Wong, who directs marketing and communications at MagicStay.com, said business and international travel has become more convenient and common, which has opened a new, competitive vertical in short-term rentals in recent years. Her company specializes in accommodating business travelers and making it easy to extend stays.
“We are seeing a lot of business travelers book these accommodations,” she said. “It’s the bleisure notion, the mix between pleasure and business. We think a lot of business travelers extend a trip to enjoy the city.”
And to acclimate or unwind from the rigors of long-distance travel.
A recent survey conducted by MagicStay.com reveals that business travelers feel tired, stressed and disconnected when out of their element. Of 600 French, German and English business travelers, 31 percent said they were tired and anxious during a business trip. More than half feared transport issues and nearly 40 percent complained of internet connectivity issues.
Some companies are trying to help workers overcome the stress caused by long-distance travel by allowing employees to extend trips a day or two to adapt, the survey notes.
Gaining visibility through Kigo to extend the marketplace
MagicStay.com, which uses the Kigo platform to manage bookings and properties, set its roots in France, where business travel represents €28 billion and is expected to grow €1.9 billion this year. What’s driving business for MagicStay.com are employees who want avoid using a travel agency to book trips and instead find their own accommodations and airline, often using loyalty programs. More than 50 percent of travelers want to manage their bookings and 71 percent already use an open booking system through the internet to find the best price.
Fanny said the alliance with Kigo Marketplace has helped MagicStay.com gain more visibility and reach travelers who take trips year-round.
“What’s beneficial for us is that we are not only a booking platform,” she said. “A lot of (booking) companies don’t offer business travelers a solution because they think nobody will book during December or Christmas, but they’re wrong. Business travelers travel any time of the year, and hotels are expensive and usually far from the meeting place."
“Working with Kigo is an opportunity to penetrate this part of the market. We guarantee accommodations and Kigo has a professional guarantee for customers.”
Providing the essentials to accommodate a new era of business travel
MagicStay.com's pledge to guarantee accommodations even before or after the business meeting allows guests to stay with confidence. Combined with Kigo technology, this has created a solid partnership.
Business travelers, Fanny says, want a place in a neighborhood to unwind after meetings, maybe prepare a meal or experience the local flavor. Amenities like television, WiFi, furnished kitchens and an otherwise comfortable place to stay are important to bleisure travelers
“That’s why we offer fully amenitized accommodations,” she said. “They need time to relax after the meeting or exhibition. They don’t want to be in a space where there is no kitchen or WiFi.”
Fanny said MagicStay.com will make arrangements to accommodate business travelers for extended stays even if it means moving from one location to the other, which can afford the customer an opportunity to experience more of the city than just attractions near business centers.
“Travelers have more freedom,” Fanny said. “If the accommodation is already booked, we find another accommodation nearby the previous accommodation. We always find a solution.”
Through Kigo, connecting with business travelers through MagicStay.com is easy. Get started with Kigo Channel Manager today!