Millennials: The New Face of Business Travel

How Millennials are Shaping the Future of Business Travel

23 January 2015
Millennials, the generation of tech savvy digital natives currently in their twenties and early thirties, will account for nearly half of the workforce by 2020, bringing with them vastly different travel habits and expectations than previous generations. As their presence continues to grow, travel and tourism companies are scrambling to understand what requirements and expectations are paramount. PHR takes a look at what factors may shape the future of travel dominated by millennials:

They Travel More Often

A published report last year found that despite millennials still being relatively new to the workforce, they were in fact going on an average of five business trips a year, compared to just two for those aged 35 and up. Moreover Millennials are also 62 percent more likely to extend a business trip into a vacation and are quicker to embrace loyalty programs than older generations.

They Love Their Gadgets

Business travellers are often early adopters of new technology, and Millennials are just as eager, arguably more so. They expect mobility and crave convenience. Thirty-two percent of Millennials reported using a smartphone to book business travel, while only 12 percent of those over the age of 45 said the same.

They’re Spontaneous

The travel industry has always operated on advanced reservations, but that might be changing soon.
Millennials are famous (or perhaps infamous) for their spontaneity and even carry the tagline of the “last minute” generation. With the widespread use of the internet, they can be more spontaneous with their plans as being connected to the world via modern technology means they can always look up something at a moment’s notice.

They’re Not Shy About Spending a Little Bit More

Millennials, as it turns out, have expensive taste, as long as they’re not the ones paying. Thirty-seven percent of business travellers aged 18 to 30 claim they spend more of their company’s money on room service than they would of their own, compared with 21 percent of their peers between the ages of 46 and 65. They are also quicker to shell out company cash on fine dining than their more seasoned colleagues.

They’re Not Afraid to Voice Dissatisfaction

Millennials rely heavily on review sites like TripAdvisor. An overwhelming 80 percent of respondents in Expedia’s survey said they consider online reviews important when planning a trip. They’re not shy about sharing a review of their own, either. And since one in four millennial business travellers reported posting a negative review online within the past year, it’s no wonder that businesses are eager to meet millennial demands.

With millions of millennials already in the workforce, companies and travel service providers are starting to take notice. As a result, the world of business travel is shifting its focus toward more intuitive technology, greater flexibility, and an always-on approach to connectivity. In the end these changes are sure to help not just millennials but all business travellers.
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