- Remote work and travel trend "bleisure" rises, driving demand for STR and Airbnb accommodation.
- Bleisure combines business with leisure, creating new market for travellers seeking extended work-travel experiences.
- STR and Airbnb accommodations favoured over traditional hotels amidst remote work surge.
The report showed that the recent rise of extended travel combined with remote working has kickstarted a rise in demand for STR and Airbnb accommodation.
Blending business with leisure
Bleisure travel happens when individuals blend their business engagement with leisurely activity while travelling, often resulting in extended vacations. Hence, bleisure travellers have distinct needs from traditional business or leisure travellers.
Indeed, the report found that recent Airbnb and STR demand has risen substantially, while hotel demand has fallen, indicating a change in consumer preference.
Alice’s Home’s managing director, Seiko Ma, believes that the data underscores an upheaval in the separation between business and leisurely travel.
“Since Covid changed the business landscape in 2020, remote work has become not only tolerated but accepted. Team members have not returned to the office in a full-time capacity, as was initially thought,” Ma said.
“Now remote workers are extending their work trips or choosing to travel and work remotely. This trend is becoming a lot more common in 2024 and is resulting in increased demand on STR and Airbnb accommodation.”
“A 2023 report from AirDNA and STR/CoStar reflects the sudden quarterly demand growth for short-term rentals, compared with below 5% growth for hotels, reflecting changing traveller preferences and the ability of short-term rental hosts to react swiftly to these changes.”
Bleisure, a new consumer category?
Ma argues that bleisure travellers have dissimilar requirements when compared to traditional business travellers, thus, hotels and similar accommodation types may fail to meet their needs.
“Business travellers tend to book into hotels in the city centre, so that they may be close to offices they may be visiting, or at least office facilities. However, bleisure travellers want to be outside of large city centres. Most hotel accommodation is situated in city centres, and STR/Airbnb property is available close to beaches and other scenic areas,” she said.
Alice’s Home, an STR and Airbnb property management company operating out of Brisbane and Melbourne, has seen a sustained influx of requests from individuals planning to work while travelling, opting for STR accommodation over traditional hotels or rental apartments.
“The other thing is our listings are set up for occupation longer than a week, and therefore provide facilities for travellers to settle down for a short time and experience “living” in a new area for the short term.
“This year, we will see this trend become more commonplace, as remote working becomes common among many more industries, and efficient systems are in place to work efficiently with remote staff or consultants.”
Seiko Ma, Alice’s Home