Hotels located near a major city, but not located in the heart of the city, may think they are at a disadvantage because of their location in a sprawling suburb. On the contrary, these hotels can use their location in an urban area as an advantage to attract more visitors to their website, and, therefore, more hotel reservations. Although it is important to highlight a hotel’s close proximity to local area attractions, dining options, and other fun activities within the nearby community, it is just as important to mention the hotel’s ability to connect guests to an entire geographical region. This is especially significant when it comes to targeting the “bleisure” traveler – an individual traveling for both business and leisure.
What is Bleisure Travel?
Bleisure travel used to refer to business trips that were extended for pleasure, but now bleisure travel encompasses leisure experiences woven throughout the length of a business trip. According to the U.S. Travel Association, U.S. residents logged 459 million trips for business purposes in 2015. Nowadays, 1 out of 9 jobs require travel for work, which means these travelers may be looking to take advantage of the opportunities they have been provided through their business by adding in elements of leisure to their business trips.
According to Visa’s 2015 Global Travel Intentions Study, which surveyed the travel habits of 13,000+ travelers worldwide, 16% of travelers combined business and leisure on their most recent trip and many of these travelers are Millennials. Millennials now comprise one-third of all U.S. spend on business flights, according to Fast Company. Millennials prioritize value and experience and they bring this mentality to both their career and travel. Millennial travelers think that if you have to travel for business, why not add in an element of leisure and make your trip more enriching, rewarding, and pleasurable? Hotels located near larger cities can capitalize on their urban location and capture the attention of bleisure travelers, such as Millennials, who are looking to further enhance their travel experiences. Here is an example of a recent case study of how a hotel took advantage of its urban location to gain the attention of guests looking to visit a nearby major city.
Case Study: City by the Bay during the Day; Napa by Night
One of Blue Magnet’s hotel clients is located near downtown San Francisco, but not within the epicenter of this bustling bay city. It was up to the team here at Blue Magnet to figure out how to attract guests to the hotel without relying on the appeal of a downtown address.
After researching the property’s local community, Blue Magnet’s SEO Team discovered the hotel’s close proximity to one of San Francisco’s main transportation networks: the Bay Area Rapid Transit (commonly referred to as BART). The BART is an elevated track and subway system connecting the San Francisco Bay area to other surrounding cities and suburbs. By creating a niche landing page highlighting the hotel’s close proximity to the BART, and subsequently the entire San Francisco Bay region, Blue Magnet had a unique opportunity to generate more business and capture the attention of bleisure travelers visiting the San Francisco area.
Blue Magnet worked with the hotel to gather information that would be helpful to include on the hotel’s BART landing page. For instance, the hotel offers a complimentary area shuttle to hotel guests and mentioned that they take hotel guests to their local BART stop, conveniently positioned down the road from the hotel. Contrary to what many individuals may think, Millennials are value hunters, especially when it comes to travel. Many Millennial bleisure travelers are looking to save money and avoid high downtown city prices, while also having the ease of access to the city center for leisure activities. By highlighting an already existing hotel amenity and service, this hotel had an opportunity to tap into this market by offering rides to the local BART stop for hotel guests looking for a day of downtown adventure in San Francisco.
Within 30 days of launching the BART landing page, the hotel started appearing on the second page of Google’s organic search results for terms the page was specifically targeting (i.e. “hotels near the BART” and “hotels near the BART in San Francisco”). Within 60 days of the page’s launch, the hotel was showing up on page one of Google’s organic search results for the same targeted keywords. When comparing the page’s 30 day mark to its 60 day mark, our team increased sessions (a web visit by an individual) by 25% and increased new site visitors (individuals visiting the hotel’s website for the first time) to the page by 40% – all within the first 60 days of the page’s initial launch! As of today, almost 90 days after launching the BART page, the hotel is receiving impressions for 73 different search terms including “hotels near BART.” Overall, the landing page continues to rank well for the hotel and our team looks forward to monitoring its progress!
By taking the time to further research the local area and working with the hotel, Blue Magnet was able to successfully create and launch a niche landing page focusing on the bleisure traveler in order to capture additional hotel bookings while simultaneously creating awareness of the hotel’s close proximity to the BART and, therefore, the entire San Francisco Bay Area.
Importance of Targeting the Blesiure Traveler
Hotels located in the sprawling suburbs, just outside of major cities, have an advantage over hotels located in large markets. Urban hotels can position themselves as a gateway to access an entire geographical region. By connecting guests to a major city while offering the comforts (and prices) of a suburban hotel, these properties have the opportunity to increase bookings, including reservations of bleisure travelers. Traveling for both business and leisure is a trend that is developing a presence within the industry and, if hotels work to position themselves correctly, they have the opportunity to capitalize on this new segment of travelers. #howdoyoubleisure
Sign up for our e-newsletter here: