Millennial Business Travel

Business travel is an inevitable fact in many professionals’ lives. Whether it’s visiting international clients, attending a conference or securing a new business deal, travel is a frequent and necessary part of business. Many business travelers tend to pledge allegiance to the same hotels and airlines each time they travel, but there is also the tendency to go beyond their comfort zones, adding a bit of tourism before, during or after their business trips, part of a trend that industry professionals call “Bleisure”.

Shaped by increasingly flexible work conditions and the influence of social media, millennials tend to see business travel as an opportunity to marry work and play. Technology as well as modern and stylish aesthetics are key factors in a millennial’s business travel needs, with wifi accessibility being a crucial component for any business stay. Being an experience-driven generation,  loyalty programs are often chosen for their perks rather than the airline itself according to research from ICLP. “Fun-ability” and sociability factors are fundamental to how millennials choose to book.

The Digitally Native Generation

Also known as the digitally native generation, millennials tend to make savings in travel costs while not sacrificing on quality. When traveling on their own time, millennials favor AirBnBs and room shares rather than hotels, while for business travel, millennials tend to see the best they can get for their buck, advocating discounted hotel prices and stylish AirBnBs, which results in less expense to their companies on the whole. In terms of transport, millennials seem to be more likely to opt for ridesharing or public transportation and less likely to take taxis. Often tying in a visit to a friend, getting a partner to fly out to join them or stopping over in another country on the way home, millennials tend to integrate fun aspects into their business travel itineraries which allows for new experiences and increased socialability.

Adapting to Requirements

Research from the Portrait of Business Travelers from MMGY Global report (2016) suggests millennial business travellers make up on average a third of all business flights, with that figure rising to half in 2018. As the millennial traveler becomes an increasing important segment in the travel industry, many hotel chains have also adapted their services to suit millennial and “bleisure” traveller requirements. Marriott Hotels and Hilton Hotels & Resorts are at the forefront of creating bleisure accommodation, designing workspaces, community ambience, a host of fun services and multipurpose social spaces to suitable for both work and play.

Personalized Travel Experiences

With such preference for bespoke travel needs and these needs not always met by individual research online, more and more millennials have been booking their business trips through travel agents over the last six years. The experience of working alongside a travel agent to create a personalized bleisure travel experience saves time, hassle and in many cases, money. With so much leverage available, travel agents can offer connections, upgrades, access to exclusive experiences, discounts and many other perks which aren’t obtainable online.  Additionally, when it comes to troubleshooting during the trip, travel agents can be on the phone to help their clients in minutes.