The changing face of the business traveller
The millennial generation (typically 18-34year olds) have long been reported as the generation changing the way we do things, and in particular how we approach travel in both the leisure and business sectors. Intrinsically tech savvy, socially minded and ready to travel, this is a generation of adventurers and explorers who are self-confessed travel hackers connected 24/7 to technology.
But, I believe this is not just a trend for the millennials. Working from home , flexi-hours and globalisation has led to more flexible ways of working, resulting in all generations assessing the work – life balance and looking for opportunities to travel and experience new environments if they wish. Bleisure is a much over used word for what is now the norm. What has previously been described as a phenomenon now crosses multi-generations and travel profiles when personal and professional circumstances allow.
A 2016 report (source: MMGY) found that millennials travelled on more business trips than any other generation, 7.7 versus 6.4 of Generation X and 6.3 of baby boomers. Given that the millennial generation are by far the largest travel demographic this statistic cannot be ignored, however many in this age group may not yet have the professional and personnel ties making it hard to travel at the drop of a hat, so what happens then?
What we do know is that by 2020 millennials will cover half the work force and that this trend is set to continue. As organisations, we all need to ensure we are prepared for this shift and take into consideration the changing travel behaviours, preferences and reliance on advanced technology.
Millennials pride themselves on seeking out local experiences and culture; they crave personalisation and are not as easily influenced by more traditional loyalty schemes. They rely on social media for ideas and inspirations and look for authenticity, relying on personal recommendations rather than traditional advertising methods.
The use of mobile technology has fuelled other travel habits too, using mobile to research, look and book holidays and promoting the sharing economy including Roomshare and Rideshare organisations; now an integral part of travel plans.
So what can corporates do? Mobile continues to be key. Business travel still lags behind leisure travel in this area and at Traveldoo we are working with our parent company Expedia to develop customer focused mobile apps to close this gap.
Also recognising the employee need for a new flexible lifestyle and work-life balance, this in turn creates loyalty and greater employee satisfaction.
Organisations today need to reflect the new demand in their travel policies; ensuring employees are given the tools, personal content and flexibility to see the world, whilst ensuring their safety. A forward thinking approach to travel policy can have a really positive impact, helping organisations to attract and then retain talent.
To find out how Traveldoo can help ensure you have the right tools in place, please contact your account manager.