With a new age of travel comes with it a brand-new age of travelers, each with their own unique requirements. But what exactly should we know and understand about the millennial business traveler in order to develop travel going forward?
Who are they?
Millennial generally refers to individuals aged between 22-37, so anyone born between 1981 and 1996. The millennial generation are the focus of many current news affairs and articles recently, as they are the first generation who have grown up with technology embedded into their day-to-day lives. This technological lot have been shaped and defined by technology and as consumers, are shaping the way they expect it to be woven into their experiences in the future.
What do they do?
According to the Business Insider, some of the most popular careers for millennials include Engineering, Sales, Merchandising, Design, PR, Media and Marketing.
Do they travel for business a lot?
Millennials are becoming the fastest growing group of travelers, with this age group taking more business trips than their senior colleagues – an average of 7.7 trips annually. By 2020, business flights are expected to account for 50% of the total millennial travel spend.
How are they booking their trips?
Unsurprisingly, technology is at the forefront of their booking process, with users looking for a seamless online booking experience – preferably one they can access on their mobile or tablet device. According to Expedia 52% of millennials report having used a hand-held device to book a business trip.
What do they value when travelling?
Unlike their previous generations, the focus for millennials isn’t always on saving money. Millennials are willing to spend a little bit more to receive a more comfortable level of service, in fact they’re 60% more likely to pay for extra leg room or comfier seats. But don’t let this fool you into thinking they’re travel snobs – they’re also the generation most likely to use room share services, such as Airbnb, with 67% of travelers quoted as being interested in staying in shared accommodation.
When it comes to on-board treatment, again they value technology over anything else, and would much prefer the luxury of free WIFI rather than a free checked bag.
They make their business trips work for them.
Known as the generation to value that infamous ‘work-life balance’, it’s no surprise that millennials have found a way to make travelling for business work for them. Introducing the portmanteau that you will hear a lot over the next year or so – ‘Bleisure’. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but be prepared to hear it a lot more, as 94% of millennials are likely to take a bleisure trip in the next five years.
If you’re wondering what exactly ‘bleisure’ is, then quite simply it’s the combination of business and leisure; the latest buzz word in the travel industry. Younger business travelers have started extending their existing business trips to fit in some leisure time, and make the most of whichever location they’re visiting on business. According to the Global Business Travel Association, in the past year alone, 37% of business travelers have extended their trip to include some leisure time.
Not only can bleisure trips prove beneficial for the employee, allowing them some time to unwind and explore, but it can also work in favour of the employer – quite often a Friday evening flight home can be a lot more expensive than a weekend flight, so there’s a possibility to save costs whilst also keeping your millennial staff happy.
Whilst we’re secretly hoping to avoid using the word ‘bleisure’ as little as possible – we are excited to see how the millennial generation continue to shape the future of the travel industry. Have you ever extended a business trip for some leisure time, and would you consider doing so in the future? We’d love to hear your thoughts!