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Work, Stay, Play: How Remote Work is Shaping 'Bleisure' Travel

Business/Leisure travel, also known as 'Bleisure', represents a significant shift in travel behaviors. Remote and hybrid employees are leveraging the flexibility of their work arrangements to extend business trips with leisure experiences or to incorporate work into their vacations. This new trend is blurring the lines that traditionally separated leisure from business travel and is having a substantial impact on traveler accommodation preferences.

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Short-Term Rentals: Meeting the Bleisure Demand

As the demand for bleisure travel grows, short-term vacation rentals are seeing a surge in popularity, outstripping hotels in quarterly demand growth since early 2022, according to AirDNA and STR/CoStar's 2023 report. This trend is a testament to the changing preferences of travelers and the agility of short-term rental hosts to adapt to these new needs. In fact, the market's flexibility has led to a remarkable 15% year-over-year growth in the supply of short-term rentals, dwarfing the below 5% growth seen in the hotel sector.

The Appeal of Extended Stays

The bleisure traveler is redefining vacation duration. With the ability to work remotely, these travelers are extending their stays significantly, choosing short-term rentals for their capacity to offer discounts on longer bookings and for providing a comfortable environment complete with kitchens, workspaces, and other amenities.

A Shift in Destination Preferences

The bleisure movement has also influenced where people travel. While traditional business travel often centers around urban areas, bleisure travelers are venturing into mountainous and beachside locations, as well as small cities and suburban destinations. This shift is reflected in the types of accommodations in demand, with larger homes in less dense areas gaining popularity over shared rooms or studio apartments.

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Looking Ahead: The Future of Bleisure Travel

The bleisure travel trend shows no signs of slowing down, and with economic factors hindering new hotel developments, the short-term rental market is poised to continue its growth. Property owners are recognizing the opportunity to list their homes to accommodate the bleisure traveler's desire for spacious, comfortable, and extended stays.

The transformative effects of 'bleisure travel on the short-term rental market are clear. What began as a response to changing work dynamics is now shaping the future of travel and hospitality. Bleisure travel is not just a trend, but a major movement set to redefine the way we think about work-life balance and vacationing.

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